Dallas Code Enforcement Sweep Aimed to Inform Community

4,000 properties in Oak Cliff were targeted Wednesday for contact from officers

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An “All Hands on Deck” Dallas code enforcement sweep targeting 4,000 properties began in Oak Cliff Wednesday.

Around 200 code compliance officers went door to door to communicate with residents and share information, but they were not there to write out citations.

“What we are out here to do is to educate our residents, let them know that we are here for them and we are a community together,” Code Compliance Officer Yendy Castorena said.

She and Officer Lucas Dennis walked their assigned route Thursday along Rockwood Street in the Bishop Hills neighborhood near Interstate 35E and Beckley.

Resident Joe Ramos complained that a nearby auto repair shop parks cars on a residential side street, causing a nuisance as he tries to leave the neighborhood.

“And the next thing you know, there's cars on both sides. It's hard to get in and out,” Ramos said.

Common code issues like a junk car, trash cans out too long and high weeds were all visible in the neighborhood Wednesday.

Members of the Dallas City Council have asked for more visible code enforcement.

“I support that. I fully support that, yes. And I support that they follow up with that,” said resident Greg Bowden.

He put rock landscaping along his curb to keep speeding teens from crossing the sidewalk where kids cross, too.

“A couple of blocks over, a lot of the properties are owned by landlords that frankly aren't as invested in the property and the upkeep,” Bowden said.

Up the street, neighbor Jane Armijo said she supports the approach of seeking cooperation from residents for compliance instead of immediate fines.

“Let you know what you're doing wrong and fix it if you can. If not there's a problem,” she said.

Code Officer Castorena said the work is personal for her.

“I live in the City of Dallas. I grew up in the City of Dallas and I always want to give back to the community,” she said.

Although the officers were not writing tickets Wednesday, they said they would remember the new complaints they heard and will follow up.

They urged Dallas residents to report code violations online or by calling 311.

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