Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Park Forest’s Building Department began annual street-by-street drive-by exterior property inspections this week, with a special emphasis on readable house numerals. These annual inspections promote compliance with the village’s building, housing and development codes, said Larrie Kerestes, the village’s Director of Community Development. The stress on readable house numbers is necessary in order to assure fast emergency response by police, fire and paramedics. Village ordinances mandate that all such numbers be of contrasting color to the background and should be large enough to be read during the day across the street.
Kerestes said that inspectors would cite missing numbers or a lack of a contrasting background. Park Forest Mayor John A. Ostenburg said such inspections were important. “Through our house inspections, we make every effort to assure the health and safety of our residents,” said Ostenburg. “Everyone hopes that police or fire personnel will not need to visit his or her home, but in an emergency we all want to be sure the police car, ambulance, or fire truck gets to the right address as quickly as possible. A clearly displayed house number is an important part of making sure that happens.”
Begun in 1983, the inspection program serves two purposes. “We have to make sure all buildings are free from health and safety hazards and we also want to make sure property owners observe minimum maintenance standards,” said Kerestes.
The Building Department will make inspections from January through March. Some common code violations include homes in disrepair, missing roof shingles, flaking or chipped paint and deteriorated driveways. Residents of non-compliant homes are given through June to repair or correct violations or potential problems. “We wait for warmer weather for people to complete their improvements,” said Kerestes.
Violators will start getting notices by the end of the month. Kerestes added that extensions can be granted, but only if the department is notified of the reason for the delay.
“We do this to protect and help our residents,” Kerestes said. “It is in the best interest of the residents’ health, safety and welfare to their homes to be up to code.” Homes are inspected for a second time and if repairs have not been made or an extension has not been requested, another citation letter will be sent. Ultimately, the owner could be forced to appear in housing court in the Markham courthouse.
For more information, interested persons can telephone the Building Department at (708) 503-7703.