The Woodburn Police Department and its code enforcement division undertook a “Good Neighbor” campaign last month, visiting with residents on weekend days and discussing local ordinances as they pertain to parking, grass, signs and other issues.

The campaign was divided along the lines of the city’s three police districts, with officers visiting each of the districts on a different Saturday. The three days of the campaign were June 7, 14 and 21.

According to the city, the officers made contact with more than 100 residents during the campaign, about half of which resulted in the opening of new cases for code violations. The other half of the contacts were reportedly “borderline violations.”

The majority of the cases involved nuisance violations such as tall grass, unkempt yards or unsightly vehicles. No citations have yet been issued as a result of the campaign; according to Police Chief Scott Russell, the first and foremost aim of code enforcement is to seek voluntary compliance before pursuing other remedies.

“Code enforcement officers will continue to follow up on these cases, as well as their already established cases, over the next several weeks,” a release from the city said.

According to Woodburn police Capt. Jason Alexander, education and communication were also top goals.

“Some of the people didn’t realize what the ordinances were,” he said. “So moving forward, they do, and that’s good for all of us.”

Code enforcement in Woodburn has been a topic of discussion in recent months, after the Historic Woodburn Neighborhoods Association raised the question of lawn parking within city limits. In April, Russell presented a detailed report on the code enforcement division to the City Council, which, shortly thereafter, voted to double the division’s budget for abatements in the new fiscal year.

According to the city administrator’s office, more than 6,600 flyers have been mailed out through utility billing to raise awareness about compliance to local codes.

And later this month, the council is poised to consider a new nuisance ordinance that would ban parking on lawns, yards (including backyards and side yards) and unimproved surfaces in residential neighborhoods.

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