I support, in concept, moving the infractions for creating illegal rooming houses to civil offenses. This has been done in other areas and seems to provide a more efficacious means to enforce the law. That being said, the issue of illegal rooming houses remains the primary enforcement target. I have said many times in this blog that we cannot fight the deterioration of our single family neighborhoods by going after symptomatic litter, noise and parking infractions. If we do not solve the density problems created by these illegal rooming houses (read multi-residential housing) in single family neighborhoods, we have done little to make zoning a meaningful term. It is the mere footprint of these illegal rooming houses which changes the character of neighborhoods.
Non-enforcement of the zoning code to date has also produced a permissive atmosphere where there is non-compliance with other codes (noise, litter, etc.). Landlords and tenants see that the city rarely responds to code violations on single family zoning. Like graffiti, if the city does not eliminate it as it appears, it grows beyond control. By strong enforcement the code, the city will create an atmosphere where landlords and tenants will think twice.