Scaffolding Installed To Keep Old Sacramento Visitors Safe

SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento code enforcement officials have installed scaffolding on three buildings in historic Old Sacramento after they red flagged them for being a hazard to pedestrians.

Sacramento chief of code enforcement Carl Simpson said tourists walking on Sacramento's iconic wooden sidewalks are safe, even though dry rot can be seen on the balconies above what the city says is a public right of way.

Store owner Anwar Khan says the scaffolding can be a danger to pedestrians but doesn't blame the city. He says the landlord of his building on front street has refused to make repairs for several years.

"My main concern is the way the building is leaning and the general public safety. It can fall on somebody. Somebody could get killed," said Khan.

Simpson said the scaffolding was put up at city expense after the building owners dragged their feet on repairs.

"We go back after the property owner and ask them to reimburse the taxpayer dollars for that," said Simpson.

The city has no regular inspection program for the thousands of buildings in the city and instead relies on complaints. A city employee first noticed a problem on one of the buildings a few weeks ago.

The city is now doing a 3 week to one month survey of Old Sacramento Buildings because so many of them have structures over the sidewalk.

It has also scheduled a meeting with all property owners in Old Sacramento with a simple message.

"It's much more cost effective to deal with those ahead of time than it is for code enforcement to come in after the fact and have to compel them to make repairs," said Simpson.

Simpson said there are significant fines for violations that aren't corrected in a timely manner.

Khan hopes repairs can be made and scaffolding removed before the heavy Christmas shopping season.