Enforcing land use codes in small towns presents significant challenges. It’s not surprising considering that in these close-knit communities, known for their strong sense of community, it’s unpopular to confront long-standing neighbors about issues such as their permanent garage sale or asking them to extinguish their tire fire. The difficulty is further exacerbated by the absence of barriers between elected officials and the public. In small towns, everyone is considered a neighbor, and information about everyone’s lives is widely known. Moreover, many small towns lack dedicated full-time employees or staff members who are knowledgeable about town codes and enforcement practices.
However, it should always be remembered that if a governmental entity enacts a rule, that rule needs to be applied fairly in all cases…even the awkward ones.
Special Note: The Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman has provided funding for this training program from the 1% surcharge on all building permits in the State of Utah.