Austin code officials checking permits at SXSW
AUSTIN, Texas - While you're enjoying the music at SXSW; a team of police, fire fighters and code enforcement officers are inspecting the venues to make sure you're safe. FOX 7 rode along with what's called the Public Assembly Code Enforcement Team.
Robert Alvarado, assistant division manager for the Austin Code Department/, as well as police and firefighters check to make sure the set ups are as they should be.
"Health and safety is priority number one for us," said Alvarado.
Alvarado's first stop is a bar along Congress. The possible violation is for a roof deck with a retractable roof built without a permit. Alvarado calls someone with the fire marshal's office to assist with the inspection. Everything checks out.
The next stop is a food truck along 4th street. It is parked in the right of way. Alvarado talks with the operator and gives him a warning. The vendor must move within an hour. If a vendor does not comply Alvarado issues a ticket.
The team finds the same issue not too far away. Alvarado issues the same warning. The operator also agrees to shut down temporarily and move to a safer location.
The team then heads to a street where homeowners have turned their lawns into parking lots which is illegal. Alvarado goes from home to home issuing warnings and asking that signs be removed.
By Thursday afternoon the team had issued 99 verbal warnings, 13 written warnings, 32 citations and shut down 9 event facilities.
"We're out there to make sure these events go on successfully, safe for everyone attending, everyone working, everyone out there to have a good time during SXSW," Alvarado said.
The transportation department is issuing citations as well. The total for them is 46. The majority have been for failure to display or have a valid chauffeur's permit.