Thursday, September 27, 2007

Code Violation?

From the WSIL website, it looks like there were three robberies and a shooting over the weekend. This part of the story is especially interesting:

Others just wish Carbondale police would increase their patrol of the neighborhood. Some students say they would feel safer if Lewis Park would install dead bolts or better locks on their doors. Others suggested more police patrols in this area late at night.

If their apartments don't have deadbolts, as the above paragraph indicates, it appears the Lewis Park apartments are in violation of the city ordinance regarding security standards (see near the bottom). The students may have referred to wanting a deadbolt separate from the doorknob itself, which the ordinance does not appear to require, however, this is certainly something for Carbondale building inspectors to look into.


A.Scope: All dwelling units within the city shall meet the minimum requirements as set forth herein except structures which, although providing sleeping accommodations, are primarily used for:

1. Medical care or other treatment of individuals suffering from physical or mental illness, disease or infirmity;

2. The care of infants, convalescents, or the elderly;

3. Penal or corrective purposes; and

4. Hotel or motel purposes and which provide temporary sleeping accommodations for hire used by transients with or without meals.

B.Alternative Materials And Methods Of Construction: The provisions of this section are not intended to prevent the use of any material or method of structural design or analysis not specifically prescribed herein, provided any such alternate is substantiated by suitable evidence.

C.Approval Of Alternate Material Or Method: The building and neighborhood services division may approve any such alternate material or method provided the proposed design is satisfactory and the material or method of work offered is, for the purposes intended, at least equivalent of that prescribed in this section.

D.Definitions: For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

CYLINDER: The part of a lock set that has an entrance for the key which thereby activates the locking mechanism.

CYLINDER GUARD: A hardened ring surrounding the exposed portion of the lock cylinder or other device which is so fastened as to protect the cylinder from wrenching, prying, cutting or pulling at attack tools.

DEAD BOLT LOCK: A locking device with a bolt that has no automatic spring action and which must, therefore, be operated manually by a key cylinder, thumb turn, or lever, and is positively held fast when in the projected position (also known as deadlock).

DEAD BOLT SINGLE CYLINDER: A dead bolt that is activated from the outside by a key, and from the inside by a knob, thumb turn, lever or similar mechanism.

DORMITORY: A building, not open to transients, where lodging is provided for ten (10) or more nonfamily persons, and no kitchen facilities other than one central kitchen facility, are provided any dwelling unit occupied by persons other than management personnel.

FLUSH OR SURFACE BOLT: A deadlock normally used on inactive door(s) that is attached to the top and bottom and/or side of the door and engages in the frame and/or base of the door.

HOOK OR EXPANDING BOLT: A dead bolt lock in which the bolt or bolts interlock with the strike plate into which the bolt or bolts are projected.

LOCKING DEVICE: A mechanical implement or combination of mechanical implements attached to the door, window or other access points of a building or structure which is designed to prevent unauthorized persons from entering the building or structure through the door, window, or other access point on which the locking device is activated.

THROW: The outward movement of a bolt or spring bolt which is measured by the distance which such a bolt travels, i.e., when the bolt or spring bolt is moved from the open position to the locked position (extended), it is said to have been thrown. (Ord. 92-77)

E. Multiple Dwellings, Dormitories, And Rooming House Security Standards: This section is not intended to require exterior doors serving as the required means of egress to the exterior of a multiple dwelling, dormitory and rooming house to swing inward. Such doors in that respect shall comply with the provisions of the 2003 edition of the international building code. All other doors to individual dwelling units within a multiple dwelling, dormitory or rooming house shall comply with the following provisions: (Ord. 92-77; Ord. 2003-72)

1. Doors to individual dwelling units shall swing inward and meet the following security standards:

a. Single doors shall be secured with a single cylinder dead bolt having a minimum throw of one inch (1"). A hook or expanding bolt may have a throw of three-fourths inch (3/4"). Any dead bolt must contain hardened material to repel attempts at cutting through the bolt.

b. On pairs of doors, the active leaf shall be secured with the type lock required for single doors in subsection E1a of this section. The inactive leaf shall be equipped with flush or surface bolts protected by hardened material with a minimum throw of three-fourths inch (3/4") at the head and foot of the door. Multiple point locks, cylinder activated from the active leaf and complying with subsection E1a of this section and the requirements herein, may be used in lieu of flush bolts. (Ord. 84-103)


I wonder where those eight new code inspectors are that the mayor promised, including two he more or less said were already in the budget.

Come to think of it, he also promised 6 new policemen at the same time.
Gadfly you show your ignorance as usual. There have been both new inspectors and police hired. The total number of inspectors hinges on a new inspection program where landlords will pay for the inspections. This will be on the October agenda. This has little to do with the mayor since enforcement of city code lies with the city manager.
The Mayor and City Council have the ability to fire the city manager, which means that they can dictate how diligently the City Manager enforces the building codes in town.
My usual ignornce...funny stuff. The two new inspectors were passed at the insistence of the last council, not the mayor. I also understand the mayor's plan for code inspectors hinged on a fee increase. Are you aware that the mayor critized his opponents plan for a fee increase (because it was a fee increase) and...less than one month later, came out with a plan that had a fee increase around 5 times as large? I can even document what I'm saying because there are tapes of the two occassions in existence (pre-primary student sponsored debate, Arbor District Debate).

Plus, this whole hoo-ha about this all being the City Manager's duty is a bunch of b.s. Not only has Cole demonstrated a willingness to try doing the CM's job, but the CM lives by the will of the council. If they don't budget money for inspectors and police, the CM can't hire any.

Any time the mayor and council want to get serious about code enforcement, the CM will get serious about it.
Here's a link to an email about the Arbor District debate.
I have read the article and there some facts that have not been checked. The word of "people" on the street has been published. This does not mean it is fact.
Scot, would you call the city chief inspector and ask if those apartments have been inspected and were they in compliance and did they have deadbolts? My other question is if there are dead bolts were they in fact locked?
I have alway been told by security experts that prevention is the key and the resident holds a huge responsibility to themselves in that case. To many people want someone else to take care of them.
Are we turning into a bunch of princesses/
Uh, its the landlords responsibility to ensure the safety of rental property. The inspectors exist to force poor landlords -- which Carbondale has in large numbers -- to follow common sense rules.

And I don't see why you're ready to doubt the word of the "people on the street" over the city government who would look awful if it were true they failed to enforce their own code. What does some random student have to gain from lying about not having appropriate locks on the door?
A student does not always remember to use locks. Some students expect a door to lock because it is closed.
Yes, the basics of safety should be in all rental units, I agree.
Tenants should use them. Perhaps all rental companies in order to protect themselves and their tenants should put security notices on the doors as in motels.

I am also saying that their is personal responsibility to ones own safety. So if those apartments had been inspected recently and if there are deadbolt locks on the doors, were the doors locked?
I have had recently experience two
young graduates placed in a postion of responsibility who routinely leave the doors unlocked
all night. Repeated reminders did not remedey the situation.
Now, if there were not deadbolt locks on the doors what kind of lock was on them and were the doors locked. Did the tenant request that a deadbolt be installed and did they report that it had not been installed to anyone.
We could save the expense of more inspectors with a program for reporting violations or a move n punch list for tenants to fill out and turn in one copy to their landlord and mail one in to the City. This makes more people including the tenant responsible for preventing crime.
Therefore, I move that we pass an ordinance requiring all rental landlords in Carbondale to distribute a Move In Health and Safety Punch List to all new tenants. The city will provide a
self addressed and stamped envelope so that one copy can be mailed to the city. The city will
follow up with the tenant by phone in 30 days to see if the items in violation on the punch list have been remedied. If not an inspector will sent to the rental unit and fee and fines for violations will be charged to the landlord.
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