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Cost to appeal violations may increase in Galt

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Posted: Saturday, November 17, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:58 am, Sat Nov 17, 2012.

If you receive a code enforcement violation in the city of Galt and want to appeal it, it may cost you $500 under a new ordinance to be discussed Tuesday.

City officials are looking to hire their own administrative hearing officers instead of contracting with the state, where it can take months for an appeal to be heard and ultimately decided due to a backlog of cases.

Under Galt's current ordinance, a person who receives an administrative citation for something such as not cleaning up property, and who has been deemed a public nuisance, has a right to request an appeal hearing in front of a third-party judge.

That is now handled by the State Office of Administrative Hearings, but due to the department's workload, the soonest an appeal filed today could be heard would likely be next summer, according to a staff report.

Additionally, the state charges $185 per hour, which can be costly.

By changing the city ordinance, the city can hire its own private administrative hearing officer or appoint a city employee as one.

Additionally, staff is recommending charging appellants $500 to file an appeal in hopes frivolous cases will cease and to allow the city to recoup some of its costs. Currently, there is no fee to file an appeal.

The Galt City Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the City Council chambers in City Hall, 380 Civic Drive, Galt.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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