When I got my code violation warning for “excessive decorative items” in my front yard, I tried to get some guidance from The Code. Aaarrrghhhhh – it’s just too hard to read. By the way – if you’re wondering how to find it, you can’t just access it easily from the website. Here are places that you’d think The Code would be found, but is not:

  • Resources (Nope – not even in Misc Documents)
  • discover, then resources (Not even close)
  • protect (oh – come on now – you really didn’t look there, did you?)
  • live, then Code Enforcement  (you’re getting warmer)
  • live, then Code Enforcement, then codes and application forms (…warmer….)

Give Up? Here’s how I found it:

  1. Go to the website
  2. Click on the “live” bar (at the top)
  3. Click on “Code Enforcement” (to the left)
  4. Click on “Codes & Application Forms” (to the left)

HA!!!!!– you thought the code would magically appear now, didn’t you?!!! hee hee hee. Those clever folks at City Hall want you to work for your information. Get back to clicking:

Choose a Violation, any violation. (My favorite is Graffiti)

To recap: You’ve been to:

  1. Home
  2. Live
  3. Code Enforcement
  4. Codes & Application Forms
  5. Graffiti

Now, depending on which violation you choose, you’ll get a little description of the delights in store  if you’ll just keep on clicking.

Resist the urge to click on “Register a complaint online” because it’s no fun at all – that link really doesn’t work – you’ll get some of that annoying code nonsense (and by this I mean computer code – you’ll get the annoying City code nonsense later)  and who wants to look at that.  No – you want to click on the link above it: the one that says “Learn more about the city’s regulations on <whatever your favorite vice is>”.

Now – sometimes you’ll get this annoying little message that says your time has expired, and  is restarting. If you get that just exit out, select another violation, and try again.

Okay – NOW you thought you were there, huh? Well, no such luck. What you’ll see is the entire code: it will be up to you to guess where the applicable ordinances are. And here’s a real zinger – they won’t necessarily be in the most logical place.  I had to spend hours wading through this mess and so will you if you are really serious. In future posts I’ll try to help you as much as I can, and offer hints and opinions. Maybe we can all get through this together.

Hey – I’ll have you know the city won an award for this Website – can you believe it? Makes me wonder what the other entries were like!

Now – where were we? Oh yeah – the snapshots. Well, as you can probably tell, it took me a long long time to figure out how to find The Code. At one point I thought – Hey – I know; I’ll just get in my car, drive to all the city council members’ homes, and see what they look like. You know – if they are coming up with these codes then their homes must be models of code compliance, right?

witchs house

Only one city council member managed to list his address on the website, so I had to look everybody else up in the Dallas County Appraisal District site. That took a little while, but wasn’t hard. Fortunately, all the city council members live fairly close to each other (imagine that) so I didn’t have to do much driving. So that I could remember what I saw, and therefore use their shining examples as inspiration, I brought along a buddy with a camera,  as I would be doing the driving and did not want to be unsafe.

I published my pictures on my Facebook page, and that photo album is linked in this blog. While we were driving around we also took some good shots of the homes of neighbors of the Councilpeople. Our thinking was that being in close proximity to a Farmers Branch City Councilperson would be so inspiring that they would be minding their P’s and Q’s. Well, see for yourself. We didn’t bother to post the neighbor’s addresses. Yet. To see them for yourself look on the left column  under the Farmers Branch Mayor and City Council category, then pick the link  Pictures of our City Council’s Homes and Neighborhoods.

Now, let me explain something. The pix of Tim O’Hare’s home is blurry. There was a lot of traffic parked on both sides of the road, and it was a little tight navigating through that. And, at this point my cameraperson was laughing so hard that she couldn’t hold the camera still.

By the way – Tim – uh – Mayor – O’Hare: I know that the City Council has been really worried about vehicles that are illegally parked on residential streets, and had instructed the police department to issue tickets and/or warnings to those despicable scofflaws. Well, some of the vehicles parked in your street were violating those parking laws. I didn’t call the police  because I thought they might be visiting foreign dignitaries or something and weren’t aware of the laws, and I didn’t want to cause embarrassment for Farmers Branch. But a more proactive citizen might not be such a pushover. So, the next time you have a large gathering at your house you might want to explain to your guests that they need to park on the same side of the street that they normally drive on. Oh wait – being a mayor and all you might have a guest from England or something, so that description won’t work. Well, you get the idea, and I trust you to get the point across in a tactful and diplomatic way. I know you’ll do what’s right, and I’m just glad to help in my small way.