South Salt Lake updates some of its Health and Safety codes
Aug 10, 2020 12:54PM
By Bill Hardesty
A vacant property in violation of Title 8 because of bulk waste on the property. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)
By Bill Hardesty | [email protected]
For some time, the South Salt Lake City administration has worked on reorganizing the city code to make it more user friendly and readable to the public. This work also brings outdated code into compliance with state law.
In the June 3 City Council meeting, the council approved with a vote of 5-2 the reorganization and revision to Title 8 along with other minor reorganizations. Title 8 is the Health and Safety section of the Municipal code.
Councilmembers Corey Thomas, District 2, and Shane Siwik, District 5, voted against the adoption. They voiced concern about chapter 8.28.
In the following council meeting, when the council just looked at chapter 8.28 Communicable Diseases, Thomas and Siwik still voted in the negative. The adoption passed 5-2.
“The chapter is too broad,” Siwik said.
The chapter only has one subsection titled “Physicians” to report communicable diseases. Siwik’s and Thomas’ concern is that the ordinance goes beyond physicians.
It reads in part: “It shall be the duty of every physician or other person caring for the sick within the city of South Salt Lake to make a written report to the board of health of the existence of any case of a communicable disease in his or her charge.”
Siwik suggested that if a person was caring for a loved one who had AIDS or an STD in their home, they are required by this statute to report the fact to the Board of Health. He wondered if this was an invasion of privacy.
City attorney Hannah Vickery suggested that given the title of the subsection that the requirement is referring to medical providers.
Fire Chief Terry Addison voiced support for another part the section. This part says, “it shall be the duty of every person, owner, agent, manager, principal or superintendent of any public or private institution, dispensary, hotel, boarding house or lodging house to make a report in like manner of any inmate, occupant or boarder contacting or suffering from any communicable disease.”
He wants to make sure if a communicable disease is present that it is reported for the protection of his firefighters. For example, if COVID-19 is reported during the initial call, firefighters will know to approach it differently with greater personal protection equipment.
Nuisance property is another part of Title 8. One important change is that the elements of Title 8 now applies to both resident and commercial property.
Alex White, community development director, reported to the council that since the pandemic her office has had an increase of calls about nuisance property.
White offered a definition of nuisance properties stating, “Nuisance properties can include a variety of things including but not limited to abandoned buildings, vacant properties, abandoned construction sites, buildings or properties with illegal activity, buildings or properties that fail to comply with code enforcement issues (solid waste, weeds, animals, etc.) and businesses and/or residences that have high call volumes for public services (i.e., police, fire, etc.).”
The code cleanup provided a clear procedure to deal with such situations. For example, in the case of vacant buildings, the city has a tier classification system addressing the condition of the building. There is a yearly fee associated with buildings in tier 2, 3 and 4.
If you see any violation of this code, call South Salt Lake Code Enforcement at 801-412-3657.