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[00:00:05]

YES, I WOULD LIKE TO CALL

[CALL TO ORDER]

THE BUILDING AND STANDARDS COMMISSION MEETING TO ORDER FOR FEBRUARY 28TH, 2024.

PLEASE NOTE, UH, LET THE RECORD NOTE THAT THE TIME IS NOW 6:38 PM MY NAME IS SHADAY GU.

I'M THE CHAIR OF THE BUILDING AND STANDARDS COMMISSION.

AT THIS TIME, I'LL CALL, ROLL AND ASK FOR THE COMMISSION MEMBERS THAT ARE PRESENT TONIGHT TO PLEASE SIGNIFY THAT YOU'RE HERE.

AND A QUICK REMINDER TO THE COMMISSIONERS THAT REMOTING IN.

PLEASE MAKE SURE TO TURN YOUR CAMERA ON AND LEAVE IT ON AT ALL TIMES SO AS TO MAINTAIN QUORUM.

OKAY.

COMMISSIONER.

BENIGN.

NO.

HERE.

THANK YOU.

COMMISSIONER CAMPBELL.

HERE.

COMMISSIONER SLUGO.

HERE.

COMMISSIONER FRANCIS.

HERE.

COMMISSIONER TACK HERE.

SORRY.

ALRIGHT.

UM, COMMISSIONER SIG IS, UM, ON HIS WAY AND THEN COMMISSIONER SHUGART HERE.

THANK YOU.

AND I'M PRESENT TOO.

AND BEFORE

[PUBLIC COMMUNICATION: GENERAL ]

THE CASES ARE CALLED, THE COMMISSION WILL ENTERTAIN PUBLIC COMMUNICATION ON ITEMS THAT ARE NOT ON TONIGHT'S AGENDA.

EACH SPEAKER WILL BE ALLOTTED THREE MINUTES OR SIX MINUTES FOR ANYONE REQUIRING INTERPRETATION SERVICES.

TONIGHT, THE COMMISSION WILL CONDUCT A HEARING FOR SIX PROPERTIES, INCLUDING ONE APPEAL ON THE POSTED AGENDA.

THE COMMISSION WILL CONSIDER NINE CASES FROM SIX PROPERTIES.

THE CASES WILL BE CONSIDERED IN THE ORDER IN WHICH THEY APPEAR ON THE AGENDA.

HOWEVER, THE COMMISSIONERS MAY TAKE A CASE OUT OF ORDER IF IT'S APPROPRIATE.

ALL ATTENDEES AT THIS HEARING ARE REQUIRED TO OBSERVE APPROPRIATE DECORUM AND CIVILITY SO AS NOT TO IMPAIR THE COMMISSION'S CIVIL ABILITY TO CONDUCT BUSINESS CODE REVIEW.

ANALYST JAMES CANELA WILL CALL EACH CASE ON THE AGENDA, FOLLOWED BY TESTIMONY DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT.

STAFF WILL ALSO BE AVAILABLE TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS WHEN YOUR CASE IS CALLED.

THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PROPERTY MUST COME FORWARD AND TAKE A SEAT NEAR THE PODIUM.

SO, UH, OR IF YOUR PARTICIPATING REMOTELY, PLEASE MAKE SURE TO UNMUTE YOUR PHONE.

THE CITY WILL PRESENT ITS EVIDENCE AND WITNESSES.

FIRST, YOU OR YOUR REPRESENTATIVE MAY ASK THE WITNESSES ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR TESTIMONY.

AFTER THE CITY HAS PRESENTED ITS EVIDENCE AND WITNESSES, YOU WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT YOUR OWN WITNESSES AND EVIDENCE.

YOU'LL HAVE A TOTAL OF FIVE MINUTES TO PRESENT YOUR CASE.

WHEN THE TIMER INDICATES THAT YOUR TIME HAS EXPIRED, YOU MUST FINISH YOUR SENTENCE AND CONCLUDE YOUR PRESENTATION.

WILL A DESIGNATED TIMEKEEPER FOR THIS EVENING, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF, .

THANK YOU.

AFTER YOU AND THE CITY HAVE PRESENTED EVIDENCE AND WITNESSES, THE COMMISSION MAY ASK QUESTIONS OF EITHER SIDE.

AFTER THE COMMISSION MEMBERS ASK QUESTIONS, I WILL ALLOW OTHER INTERESTED PAR UH, PERSONS WHO ARE PRESENT TO OFFER RELEVANT TESTIMONY ABOUT THE CASE.

BOTH SIDES AND THE COMMISSION MAY THEN ASK QUESTIONS OF ANY ADDITIONAL WITNESSES.

AFTER ALL THE EVIDENCE AND TESTIMONY IS CONCLUDED, THE COMMISSION WILL DISCUSS THE CASE AND VOTE ON A DECISION.

THE COMMISSION'S DECISION WILL BE ANNOUNCED TONIGHT, AND A COPY OF THE DECISION WILL BE MAILED TO YOU.

A DECISION OF THE COMMISSION IS FINAL AND BINDING ON UNLESS APPEALED TO DISTRICT COURT WITHIN 30 DAYS AS PROVIDED IN THE TEXAS LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS PROCEDURE, PLEASE ASK YOUR QUESTIONS.

WHEN YOUR CASE IS CALLED, A WITNESSES WILL NOW TESTIFY UNDER OATH.

ANY PERSON THAT WANTS TO PRESENT TESTIMONY BEFORE THE COMMISSION, IN ANY CASE, INCLUDING THOSE REMOTING IN, PLEASE STAND UP AND RAISE YOUR RIGHT HAND SO THAT YOU MAY BE SWORN IN.

THANK YOU.

DO EACH OF YOU SWEAR AND AFFIRM THAT THE TESTIMONY YOU'LL PROVIDE THIS EVENING IS THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH? IF SO, PLEASE SIGNIFY BY SAYING I DO.

I DO.

THANK YOU.

IF THERE IS NOTHING FURTHER, WE'LL PROCEED TO CONSIDER THE AGENDA ITEMS THAT ARE BEFORE THE COMMISSION THIS EVENING.

AND, UH, JUST TO REMIND YOU, WE'RE TAKING THE ITEMS, UM, OUT OF ORDER A LITTLE BIT.

SO

[APPROVAL OF MINUTES]

WE'LL START WITH THE MINUTES, UH, APPROVAL, AND THEN WE'LL GO TO ITEM NUMBER EIGHT, AND THEN ITEM NUMBER SEVEN.

SO, UH, LET'S SEE.

WE'LL BE LOOKING AT THE MINUTES FROM THE SPECIAL CALL MEETING, FEBRUARY 12TH, 2024, AS WELL AS THE MINUTES FROM JANUARY 24TH, 2024.

COMMISSIONERS, HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO LOOK AT THE MINUTES? NO.

DO WE, IS EVERYBODY IN A, IN AGREEMENT THAT WE CAN APPROVE THE MINUTES OR DO WE HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR OBJECTIONS? NONE.

OKAY.

APPROVED FOR JANUARY 24TH, 2024.

AS WELL AS, EXCUSE ME,

[00:05:01]

MADAM CHAIR.

UM, DOES IT REQUIRE A MOTION AND A SECOND? YES.

WE NEED A, A MOTION CHAIR FOR BOTH, FOR EACH.

I I MOVE TO APPROVE THE MEETING MINUTES FROM THE, FROM THE FEBRUARY 12TH, UH, AND JANUARY 24TH MEETING.

THANK YOU.

WE'LL HAVE A SECOND.

I'LL SECOND.

THANKS.

OKAY, SO NOW DO WE HAVE ANY OBJECTIONS TO THOSE MOTIONS? NANI? OKAY.

ARE WE GOOD? UH, YES.

HEARING NONE? WE ARE, IT IS APPROVED.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

IT IS.

THOSE MINUTES ARE APPROVED.

AND SO WE'LL GO TO, UM,

[8. Election of Vice-Chair of the Building and Standards Commission]

ITEM NUMBER EIGHT, WHICH WOULD BE TO ELECT A VICE CHAIR, UM, FOR THE BUILDING AND STANDARDS COMMISSION.

SO, I MEAN, ALL NOMINATIONS ARE WELCOME, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO, UH, YES, MADAM CHAIR, UH, MOVE TO, UH, ELECT COMMISSIONER SOAD AS, UH, VICE CHAIR.

OKAY, THANK YOU.

ANYONE ELSE? I WOULD LIKE TO MOVE TO ELECT COMMISSIONER LUIS OLUGO AS VICE CHAIR.

EXCELLENT.

ALL RIGHT.

WE WILL GO AHEAD AND, UM, TAKE A VOTE ON BOTH NAMES.

I'M SORRY, CHAIR.

VERY BRIEFLY.

UH, WE, WE NEED TO DO COMMISSIONER SOAD AND COMMISSIONER OLUGO ACCEPT THE NOMINATIONS.

OH, .

GOOD POINT.

UM, COMMISSIONER, STILL SAD? UH, I, I WOULD ACCEPT THE NOMINATION.

YES.

THANK YOU.

UM, MADAM CHAIR.

THANKS.

AND WHAT ABOUT YOU COMMISSIONER AL LUGA? I THINK OUT OF, UH, RESPECT FOR COMMISSIONER S'S SENIORITY, I'LL REJECT THE NOMINATION FOR THIS TIME.

OKAY.

I GUESS THAT HELPS.

SO DO WE NEED TO GO AROUND AND TAKE A VOTE? PROBABLY SECOND.

YEAH.

I, I, I THINK WE NEED TO HAVE A, WELL, WE NEED TO HAVE A SECOND AND THEN YEAH, BUT, AND THEN WE CAN DO MADAM.

OH, I MADE THE MOTION.

TECHNICALLY WHAT THERE I SUPPOSE WOULD BE, UH, UNOPPOSED, RIGHT? YEAH, IT WOULD BE UNOPPOSED, BUT STILL.

ALL RIGHT.

SO THEN DO WE HAVE A SECOND TO THE RECOMMENDATION FOR COMMISSIONER SOAD TO BE VICE CHAIR? I'LL SECOND.

THANK YOU.

SO ANYTHING ELSE? OKAY.

AND, AND SEEING AS HOW IT'S UNOPPOSED AND COMMISSIONER SOAD IS THE VICE CHAIR.

ALRIGHT, EXCELLENT.

SO WE HAVE A VICE CHAIR PENDING APRIL ELECTIONS, I GUESS.

I MEAN, YEAH.

APRIL.

ALL RIGHT.

SO WE'LL GO TO, WE CAN NOW START.

THANK YOU, MADAM CHAIR.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO ON TO

[7. Case Number: CV 2023-140893]

ITEM NUMBER SEVEN? YES, PLEASE.

ITEM NUMBER SEVEN ON THE AGENDA IS AN APPEAL REGARDING 2 9 2 7 CASTING PASS, THE CASE NUMBER CV 20 23 1 4 0 8 9 3, AND CAN BE FOUND IN THE BLUE BOOKS IN YOUR READERS OR GOOGLE DRIVE FOLDER.

THIS APPEAL BEGAN AS A COMPLAINT ABOUT AN INFESTATION AT THE PROPERTY, WHICH WERE CONFIRMED BY DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT AND LED TO THE ISSUANCE OF THE NOTICE OF VIOLATION.

THE OWNER FILED AN APPEAL OF THE NOTICE OF VIOLATION, WHICH IS WHY WE ARE HERE TONIGHT.

HERE'S SOME FACTS ABOUT THIS CASE.

THE INITIAL COMPLAINT DATE IS OCTOBER 30TH, 2023.

THE NOTICE OF VIOLATION INCLUDED ONE STRUCTURE MAINTENANCE VIOLATION, THE STRUCTURE MAINTENANCE DEFICIENCY HAS BEEN CLEARED IN THE READERS OR GOOGLE DRIVE FOLDER, YOU WILL FIND THE FOLLOWING EXHIBIT ONE, WHICH CONTAINS THE PROPERTY OWNER'S APPEAL LETTER, THE COMPLAINT AND CASE HISTORY MAPS OF THE PROPERTY, A COPY OF THE TRAVIS CENTRAL APPRAISAL DISTRICT RECORD, AFFIRMING OWNERSHIP, NOTICES OF TONIGHT'S HEARING, PROOFS OF MAILING AND POSTINGS, AND EXHIBIT TWO, WHICH CONSISTS OF PHOTOGRAPHS MARKED AS EXHIBITS TWO A THROUGH TWO F AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT.

RECOMMENDATION CODE INSPECTOR PHILIP MORENO IS HERE TO PRESENT THE CITY'S CASE AND WILL TESTIFY TO THE SPECIFICS PRIOR TO THE APPEAL.

INSPECTOR MORENO, PLEASE BEGIN YOUR TESTIMONY.

IS IT ON? IT'S ON.

OKAY.

UH, GOOD EVENING, COMMISSIONERS.

MY NAME IS PHILLIP MARINO.

I WORK FOR DSD CO COMPLIANCE HERE WITHIN THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

ON OCTOBER 30TH, 2023, OUR DEPARTMENT RECEIVED A COMPLAINT CONCERNING OF INFESTATION OF SCORPIONS INSIDE THE SINGLE FAMILY STRUCTURE.

LOCATED AT 29 27 CASTINE PASS HERE IN AUSTIN, TEXAS.

THE OWNER ON RECORD, AS PER THE TRAVIS COUNTY APPRAISAL DISTRICT,

[00:10:01]

HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AS RITUAL RIVERS.

ON OCTOBER 31ST, 2023, I CONDUCTED THE INITIAL INSPECTION OF THE INTERIOR OF THE HOME FOR AN INFESTATION ISSUE.

AT THE TIME OF THE INSPECTION, THE TENANT OF THE HOME LED ME TO THE LAUNDRY AND GARAGE AR AREA OF THE HOME, AND OBSERVED TO STICKY TRAPS WITH SCORPIONS ON THEM.

THE TENANT STATED THAT THESE TRAPS WERE SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE, BUT WERE WERE REMOVED IN THE MORNING HOURS DUE TO A TODDLER IN THE HOME.

SORRY, .

UM, AFTER CONDUCTING MY INSPECTION, I DOCUMENTED MY FINDINGS, AND ON OCTOBER 31ST, I SENT A NOTICE OF VIOLATION TO THE PROPERTY OWNER FOR INFESTATION AT 3 0 9 0.1 UNDER STRUCTURAL MAINTENANCE, AND WAS SENT OVER AND WAS SENT TO THE OWNER ON RECORD ON OCTOBER 31ST, 2023.

I WILL NOW PRESENT MY PHOTOS TO, FOR THE VIOLATION OBSERVED AND FOR ISSUED THE NOTICE OF VIOLATION TO THE OWNER.

SHOW THE TWO A.

TWO A.

DID WE HAVE THE, UH, EXHIBITS DISPLAYED, PLEASE.

OKAY.

EXHIBIT TWO A SHOWS A CONTEXTUAL PHOTO OF THE PROPERTY.

UM, YOU CAN SEE THE ADDRESS ON THE BOTTOM LISTED AT 29 27 CASTING PASS.

IT'S A WHITE ROCK, TWO STORY STRUCTURE HOME ON THE BACK.

IT'S JUST A CONTEXTUAL PHOTO OF THE PROPERTY.

UH, NEXT PHOTO, PLEASE.

UH, EXHIBIT TWO B.

THESE ARE THE STICKY TRAPS THAT WERE FOUND THROUGHOUT THE, THESE WERE THE STICKY TRAPS THAT THE, UH, TENANT PLACED THROUGHOUT THE HOME AND WITH, WITH SCORPIONS IN 'EM.

AND SOME OF THOSE SCORPIONS IN THOSE PHOTOS WERE ALIVE STILL AT THE TIME OF THE INSPECTION.

NEXT PHOTO, PLEASE.

THIS HERE IS JUST A EXTERIOR PHOTO OF THE BACKSIDE OF THE PROPERTY, UM, WHERE THE TENANT TRIED TO SELF-TREAT THE PROPERTY.

UH, YOU CAN SEE NEXT TO THE WALL WHERE THE BRICK WALL IS, HE TRIED TO PUT SOME KIND OF POWDERY SUBSTANCE TO PREVENT THE SCORPIONS FROM ENTERING THE STRUCTURE.

NEXT PHOTO, PLEASE.

EXHIBIT 2D.

THIS IS A PHOTO OF THE BACKSIDE OF THE PROPERTY, AGAIN, SHOWING THE ROCK WALL IN THE BACKYARD WHERE THE TENANT IS CLAIMING ALL THE SCORPIONS APPEAR TO BE COMING FROM.

NEXT PHOTO EXHIBITS TWO, TWO E AND TWO F ARE PHOTOS OF THE EXTERIOR, UM, WALL ON THE BACKSIDE OF THE PROPERTY WHERE LIEUTENANT REMOVED THE CONCRETE PAVERS.

HE WAS TRYING TO SEAL UP THE ENTRY POINTS FOR WHERE, WHERE HE BELIEVED THE SCORPIONS WERE ENTERING.

AND I GUESS HE WAS UNSUCCESSFUL SUCCESSFUL AT THAT TIME, AND THAT'S WHY I WAS CALLED OUT THERE.

CURRENTLY THIS CASE IS CLOSED.

THE CASE WAS CLOSED ON DECEMBER 21ST, 2023, DUE TO RECEIVING PEST CONTROL TREATMENT FROM PEST CONTROLLED TREATMENT INVOICE FROM A BC PEST CONTROL IN WHICH THE, THE, THE PROPERTY OWNER PROVIDED ON DECEMBER NINE ON HE, SHE PROVIDED ON DECEMBER 21ST, 2020, DECEMBER 21ST, 2023.

AND THE PEST CONTROL SERVICES WAS CONDUCTED ON DECEMBER 19TH, 2023 FOR THE INTERIOR, UH, TREATMENT OF THE HOME.

UM, THIS CONCLUDES MY PRESENTATION AS TO WHY THE NOTICE WAS NOTICE OF VIOLATION WAS ISSUED TO THE PROPERTY HONOR.

THANK YOU.

STAFF ASK THE COMMISSION TO ADMIT EXHIBITS ONE AND TWO A THROUGH TWO F, WHICH INCLUDES STAFF'S PROPOSED FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW, AND OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS AS WELL AS DEVELOPMENT SERVICES.

RECOMMENDATION STAFF ALSO REQUESTS THAT THE COMMISSION ADOPT THE PROPOSED FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW FOR THIS CASE AND DENY THE APPEAL, THEREBY UPHOLDING THE STRUCTURE MAINTENANCE DEFICIENCY WITHIN THE NOTICE OF VIOLATION.

OKAY.

UM, I'LL GO AHEAD AND ADMIT EXHIBIT ONE AS WELL AS EXHIBIT TWO, WHICH INCLUDES TWO.

UH, THE PHOTO PHOTOGRAPHS, EXHIBITS TWO A THROUGH TWO F.

UM, I BELIEVE WE HAVE THE OWNERS HERE AS WELL AS THE CONTRACTOR.

UH, LET'S SEE.

I HAVE THREE PEOPLE HERE.

OKAY.

, CAN YOU PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELVES AND LET US KNOW WHO WILL BE SPEAKING TONIGHT? GOOD EVENING, AND THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MADAM COMMISSIONER.

MY NAME IS ROCHELLE RIVERS AND MY HUSBAND AND I OWN THE PROPERTY AT 29 27 CASRE PASS.

[00:15:01]

YOU MAY BE WONDERING WHY WE'RE HERE TONIGHT, BECAUSE THERE IS NO PENDING VIOLATION AGAINST OUR PROPERTY.

IT HAS BEEN CLEARED, AND I APPRECIATE MR. MORENO'S, UH, DESCRIPTION TO THE COMMISSION OF THE PROCESS THAT HE WENT THROUGH TO CLEAR THE VIOLATION.

HOWEVER, I AM HERE TONIGHT FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS.

ONE IS THAT AS MR. MORENO, UH, TESTIFIED TO YOU, THE ISSUANCE OF THE NOTICE OF VIOLATION WAS BASED SOLELY ON HIS 10 31 23 TALK WITH MY TENANT IN THE PROPERTY.

I WISH TO BRING THIS COMMISSION'S ATTENTION TO THE SAME THING THAT I TOLD MR. MARINO AFTER I GOT THE NOTICE OF VIOLATION.

AND WITHOUT HAVING HAD ANY PRIOR NOTICE THAT THERE WAS ANY CONCERN ABOUT THE PROPERTY, I, I, UM, WOULD TO BRING TO YOUR ATTENTION THESE FACTS.

OKAY? AND JUST TO, I DON'T MEAN TO INTERRUPT YOU, BUT FEEL FREE TO SIT DOWN.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO STAND WHEN YOU'RE ADDRESSING US.

NO, I, I I'M A LAWYER AND I I LOVE TO STAND UP .

I EVEN ASK IF I CAN WALK.

I LOVE IT.

OKAY.

A PODIUM, .

ALRIGHT.

PLEASE PROCEED.

I APPRECIATE IT.

IF IT MAKES YOU MORE COMFORTABLE, I WILL, BUT I CAN'T SEE ANYBODY WHEN I SIT, EVERYBODY WHEN I SIT DOWN.

THANK YOU.

UM, I, I HONESTLY DON'T MIND IF YOU STAND AT THE PODIUM.

THANK YOU.

THE, UM, THE REASON THAT I WANT THE, THIS COMMISSION TO CONSIDER CAREFULLY THE REQUEST TO RESCIND THE NOTICE OF VIOLATION IS BECAUSE FIRST, THE CONDITION OF THE PROPERTY DID NOT WARRANT OR JUSTIFY THE ISSUANCE OF A CODE VIOLATION NOTICE, IT WAS BASED AS, AS MR. MORENO HAS TOLD YOU, SOLELY ON THE TESTIMONY, UH, OR THE, UH, INFORMATION PROVIDED TO HIM BY A DISGRUNTLED TENANT, A TENANT WHO WAS ATTEMPTING TO BREAK HIS LEASE WITH ME AND WHO WAS USING THE POWER OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN TO HELP HIM DO THAT.

AND I WILL TALK ABOUT THAT IN A LITTLE BIT MORE DETAIL IN A MOMENT.

THE, UM, THE FACT OF THE ISSUANCE OF THIS CODE VIOLATION, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS RATHER QUICKLY, UM, UH, RESOLVED AND, AND, AND I WAS TOLD THAT IT WAS, IT WAS, UH, NO LONGER A PROBLEM.

THE FACT OF ITS ISSUANCE IS CAUSING ME GREAT DAMAGE TO THE PROPERTY.

THERE ARE TWO PEOPLE I BROUGHT TONIGHT TO ASK TO SPEAK TO YOU ABOUT THESE TWO FACTS.

NUMBER ONE, JERRY KATES, WHO IS A SCORPION SPECIALIST AND WHO WORKED WITH US FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, IS HERE TO TELL YOU, NOT ONLY IS THE FACT OR THE THE DESCRIPTION THAT MY DISGRUNTLED TENANT GAVE TO MR. MARINO, UNLIKELY BASED ON HIS, I THINK, OVER 20 YEARS OF RESEARCH OF, OF SCORPIONS.

BUT NUMBER TWO, MY REAL ESTATE AGENT, BEATY RYAN, IS HERE TO TALK ABOUT HOW DAMAGING THE MERE ISSUANCE OF A NOTICE OF VIOLATION IS TO A LANDOWNER.

THIS IS MY ONLY, THIS IS MY HUSBAND AND MY, UH, HOME THAT WE BOUGHT WHEN WE GOT MARRIED ON TOP OF THE HOT TUB IN THE BACKYARD.

I LOVE THAT HOUSE.

IT HAS NEVER HAD ANY SUCH PROBLEM OF ANY SORT.

AND, UM, WE ARE NOW, UH, BECAUSE OF THIS WHOLE FIASCO TRYING TO SELL THE HOUSE, AND THE FACT OF THE, THE HAVING BEEN ISSUED A CODE VIOLATION IS EXTREMELY DAMAGING.

NOW, FIRST I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT PRIOR TO THE NOVEMBER 3RD, 2023 NOTICE I RECEIVED OF A CODE VIOLATION, WE HAD ALREADY CLEARED.

WE HAD ALREADY TAKEN CARE OF ALL OF THE CONCERNS THAT THE TENANT HAD TOLD US THAT THEY HAD ABOUT SEEING A SCORPION.

WE HAD DONE THAT IN A NUMBER OF WAYS.

MR. KATE'S HERE WAS PART OF THAT.

HE WAS EXTREMELY HELPFUL IN, IN ADDRESSING WHAT THE ISSUE WAS IN LISTENING TO THE TENANT'S CONCERNS AND TRYING TO DESCRIBE THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE TENANT'S CONCERNS COULD BE ALLAYED.

AND, UM, AND ALSO TOLD US HOW TO DO THAT IMMEDIATELY AFTER MR. CATES, UM, CAME AND VISITED.

WELL, UH, IN SEP ON SEPTEMBER, I THINK IT WAS 13, MR. KATES CAME AND TALKED WITH ME, AND THE TENANTS LISTENED TO EVERYTHING, INSPECTED THE ENTIRE PROPERTY, AND ESSENTIALLY SAID THE SCORPIONS ARE PROBABLY OUTSIDE.

AND THE THING THAT YOU CAN DO IS TRIM THE TREES, BUT THEY'RE OVERHANGING THE ROOF, WHICH WE DID THAT FRIDAY.

I THINK HE CAME ON A WEDNESDAY.

WE DID IT THAT FRIDAY.

THAT WAS IN SEPTEMBER.

AND THAT WAS LONG BEFORE MR. MARINO CAME TO THE, CAME TO THE PROPERTY.

UM, THE TENANT EXAGGERATES, THE TENANT EXAGGERATES SIGNIFICANTLY.

AND IN FACT, HE, UM, WHEN I FIRST WENT OVER TO THE PROPERTY, UH, RIGHT AFTER HE, UH, TOLD ME HE HAD A PROBLEM, I, I WAS VERY PROMPT AND VERY SYMPATHETIC.

THEY WERE YOUNG PEOPLE.

[00:20:01]

THEY HAD A SMALL CHILD.

I WAS DOING ALL I COULD DO TO HELP THEM FEEL COMFORTABLE.

AND WHEN HE SPENT TWO HOURS TELLING ME ABOUT ALL THE SCORPIONS HE SAW, IT TURNED OUT THAT THEY WERE OUTSIDE.

I ASKED HIM IF THERE WERE ANY INSIDE, HE HAD STICKY TRAPS.

AND HE SAID, WELL, I HAVE A WHOLE BAG FULL OF SCORPIONS THAT I HAVE, UM, FOUND.

AND I SAID, THAT SOUNDS TERRIBLE.

CAN YOU SHOW ME WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT? AND THIS IS WHAT HE GAVE ME.

THIS IS A PICTURE.

UM, UM, COUNSEL , DID YOU SUBMIT THAT PRIOR TO THIS MEETING? I DID NOT.

OKAY.

SO WE'LL PROBABLY NEED TO MAKE COPIES AND THEN CONSIDER WHETHER WE CAN ADMIT THAT YOU UNDERSTAND.

MAY I, MR. TO COUNSEL THEN YOUR, UM, CAN SHE APPROACH? I THINK, YEAH.

YOU DON'T HAVE A LOT OF TIME LEFT EITHER.

SO DO YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE MR. GATES HAS A CHANCE TO SAY, ALRIGHT, THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECES SO HE IS NOT REPEATING WHAT YOU SPEAK ABOUT.

THE TIME'S ALREADY UP.

YEAH.

SO LET'S WRAP IT UP REALLY QUICKLY.

DO YOU THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR HIM TO GO OVER WHAT YOU ALREADY TOLD US? YES.

HE'S GOING TO TELL YOU EXACTLY WHAT HE DID.

AND, UH, YOU WON'T TAKE MORE THAN THREE MINUTES.

AND MS. RYAN WILL TAKE, UM, THREE MINUTES JUST TO TELL YOU HOW DAMAGING THIS IS.

AND I WANT TO ALSO TELL YOU THAT I THINK THAT THE, THE CITY CODE THAT AUTHORIZES THIS DEPARTMENT TO ISSUE THE VIOLATION, UM, IS OUTSIDE THE BOUNDS OF THE CODE BECAUSE SCORPIONS ARE NOT INSECTS OR RODENTS.

OKAY.

NOTED.

UM, I WOULD ALLOW TWO MINUTES EACH.

THANK YOU.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

BECAUSE YOU ALREADY TOOK A LOT OF TIME AND THEN YES, TWO MINUTES.

I'LL BE ONE.

OKAY, GO AHEAD, SIR.

WHEN, UH, MS. RIVERS, UH, WAS TOLD ABOUT THIS PROBLEM, AND SHE, UH, SHE BEGAN LOOKING FOR SOMEONE WHO MIGHT HAVE SOME UNDERSTANDING OF SCORPION BIOLOGY.

I'VE BEEN DOING, UH, WORK WITH SCORPIONS IN TEXAS FOR OVER 40 YEARS, BUT ESPECIALLY IN THE LAST 22 YEARS, I'VE DONE A LOT OF WORK WITH SCORPION BIOLOGY.

SHE READ SOME OF MY PAPERS AND GAVE ME A CALL.

I CAME OUT THE VERY NEXT DAY, MET WITH HER AND THE TENANTS, UH, THAT WAS ON THE 13TH OF SEPTEMBER, BY THE WAY.

AND, AND ONE OF THE, THE IMPORTANT THINGS THAT I WANTED TO PASS ON TO THEM WAS THAT SCORPIONS DO NOT INFEST HUMAN DWELLINGS.

THEY, THEY WILL PASS THROUGH HUMAN DWELLINGS, UH, WHEN THEY'RE TRYING, WHEN THEY FALL ONTO THE ROOF AFTER, UH, FINDING PREY IN THE TREES THAT ARE HAVING, UH, BRANCHES OVERREACHING THE ROOF, UH, THEY'LL FALL ONTO THE ROOF.

UH, AND THEN THEY HAVE TO GET BACK DOWN TO THE GROUND.

AND THE, AND THE, THE FASTEST WAY IS FOR THEM TO GET INTO THE ATTIC, WHICH IS VERY EASY FOR THEM TO DO FROM THE ROOF.

THEN THEY HAVE TO GET DOWN INTO THE LIVING SPACE AND BACK OUT TO THE OUTSIDE.

THEY HAVE TO DO THAT WITHIN ABOUT 24 HOURS, OR THEY WILL PROBABLY DIE.

THEY'RE JUST TOO MUCH, UH, HEAT AND NOT ENOUGH MOISTURE TO KEEP THEM ALIVE.

AND, AND, UH, AND SO THEY BECOME FAIRLY VISIBLE IN THAT SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.

NOW, THE EASY WAY TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM AT IF THE TREE LIMBS CAN BE REMOVED SO THAT THEY'RE NOT OVERREACHING THE ROOF, THE EASIEST THING.

AND, AND, AND, UH, THE MOST EXPEDIENT THING IS TO GO AHEAD AND TRIM THOSE LIMBS BACK CAN BE FAIRLY EXPENSIVE.

AND, UH, AND MS. RIVERS DID GO TO SOME CONSIDERABLE EXPENSE TO HAVE THE LIMBS REMOVED.

AND SHE HAD THAT DONE TWO DAYS AFTER I RECOMMENDED IT.

UH, ONCE THAT'S DONE, UH, THERE WON'T BE ANY SCORPIONS FALLING ON THE ROOF ANYMORE.

OKAY.

WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT FOR US TO KNOW, BECAUSE YOU'RE TELLING US ABOUT YOUR GENERAL KNOWLEDGE, BUT WE ARE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE SPECIFIC PROPERTY IN QUESTION.

WERE YOU ABLE TO GO INSIDE YES.

TO, TO ACT, TO GO INSIDE? SHE SAY ON THAT VISIT, I DID NOT, I WASN'T ABLE TO GO INSIDE.

UM, OKAY.

AND, UH, AND ON A SUBSEQUENT VISIT, THEY, UH, EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED ANY OF US FROM GOING INSIDE.

SO, UH, THAT, THAT WAS THE TENANTS UM, DECISION.

OKAY.

AND OF COURSE, WE DIDN'T TRY TO CIRCUMVENT THEIR REQUEST.

ALL RIGHT.

I THINK THAT'S HELPFUL.

THANK YOU.

OKAY.

ALL RIGHT.

SO WE'LL HAVE MS. RYAN, YOU SAID YOU'LL BE ABLE TO WRAP THIS UP IN 60 SECONDS, .

OKAY.

I'LL BE ONE.

GIVE IT A GO.

THANK YOU.

MY NAME IS BEATY RYAN AND I HAVE

[00:25:01]

BEEN, UM, MRS. RIVERS REALTOR, UM, SINCE 2016 AND HAVE LEASED THIS HOME TO FOUR DIFFERENT FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN, UM, SINCE 2 17 20 17.

AND WHEN THIS SITUATION HAPPENED, THIS COUPLE CAME IN FROM NORTH CAROLINA AND, UM, ACTUALLY WANTED TO LEASE THE HOUSE SIGHT UNSEEN.

UM, USUALLY WE DON'T DO THAT, BUT THEY WERE VERY ADAMANT ABOUT DOING THIS.

SO WE DID.

WE, UM, TOOK THEIR DEPOSITS, WE SET UP THE MOVE IN DATE AND ALL OF THAT.

UM, THE, THIS GROUP OF THIS MAN AND WOMAN, UH, THE GELLES ARE THE ONLY FAMILIES THAT EVER HAVE CALLED TO COMPLAIN ABOUT ANYTHING SINCE 2017 ON THIS HOUSE.

AND WE HAVE NEVER SEEN A SCORPION IN THIS HOME SINCE 2017.

WE HAD CHILDREN, TODDLERS, DOGS, IN AND OUT OF THAT HOUSE.

AND IT'S IN BARTON HILLS.

SO WE ARE IN AN AREA WHERE THERE IS A LOT OF TREES.

AND WHEN I WALKED INTO THE PROPERTY THE OTHER DAY TO GO LOOK AT THE BACKYARD TO CHECK THINGS OUT, 'CAUSE WE ARE NOW GOING TO HAVE TO SELL THE HOME, WHICH, UM, THIS WAS NOT, THIS WAS THEIR INCOME COMING IN FROM, UM, THEIR REAL ESTATE PROPERTY AND THEIR INVESTMENT.

NOW WE'RE GONNA HAVE TO SELL THE HOME.

AND I WENT TO THE BACKYARD AND IT LOOKS AS THOUGH THE TREES WERE A BEAUTIFUL FOREST IN THE BACK.

AND IT IS LIMITED.

THE TREES HAVE BEEN CUT.

IT LOOKS MORE SO THAN THE PEOPLE THAT CAME THE FIRST TIME TO CUT THE TREES.

'CAUSE I HAD PHOTOS.

AND, UM, SO I REALLY THINK THE SAME AS, UM, MRS. RIVERS IS THAT THE TENANT, UH, WANTED TO BREAK THE LEASE.

AND THEY KNOW THE STRICT, AND AS A MATTER OF FACT, THAT IS ONE ITEM THAT WAS MENTIONED WHEN THEY CAME IN ABOUT, YOU KNOW, IN TEXAS YOU NEED TO BE VERY CAREFUL BECAUSE YOU CANNOT BREAK A LEASE OR IT'S ON YOUR CREDIT REPORT.

AND THAT WAS TOLD TO THEM.

SO THEY HAD TO FIND, IT SEEMS LIKE THEY HAD TO FIND SOMETHING, UM, TO HAPPEN.

SO ANYWAY, I JUST WANTED TO SAY THAT, UM, YOU KNOW, THERE WAS NOT, WE DID NOT HAVE ANY PROBLEMS WITH SCORPIONS, UM, SINCE 2017 AND NOT ONE COMPLAINT.

FINE.

OKAY.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH MS. RYAN.

AND, UM, MS. RIVERS, MADAM CHAIRMAN THERE.

MAY I CORRECT? I MAY NOT HAVE HEARD CORRECTLY.

MR. KATES AND I DID MEET WITH THE TENANTS TOGETHER ON SEPTEMBER 13 IN THE HOUSE.

WE WERE ABLE TO GO IN THE HOUSE.

HE WAS ABLE TO OBSERVE WHAT WAS GOING ON.

HE INSPECTED THE INSIDE OF THE HOUSE, INSPECTED THE OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE, AND SAID THE PROBLEM, IF THERE IS A PROBLEM AT ALL, IS GOING TO BE IN TREES, MS. RIVERS.

UM, WE'LL HAVE A CHANCE TO ASK QUESTIONS, SO I APPRECIATE YOU ADDING THAT, BUT WE'LL ASK MR. GATES DIRECTLY AS WELL.

NOW, UM, I'M GONNA MOVE TO THE, IS THERE ANYBODY ELSE HERE FOR THIS PARTICULAR PROPERTY? YES.

EXCUSE ME, MADAM CHAIR.

UM, THE, UM, APPELLANT HAS A, HAS A PHOTOGRAPH I BELIEVE THAT SHE WANTS TO CIRCULATE.

I'LL ALLOW IT.

YEAH.

UM, THE NORMAL PROCESS, MS. RIVERS, IN CASE YOU EVER HAVE A, THE YEAH, THE, THE, YOU KNOW, THE PRIVILEGE OF COMING HERE NEXT TIME.

UH, MAKE SURE TO SEND THIS AHEAD OF TIME 'CAUSE IT DOES SAVE US SOME TIME.

THANK YOU.

SO COMMISSIONERS, UM, FEEL FREE TO ASK QUESTIONS OF INSPECTOR MORENO OR THE OWNERS.

SO, AND I CAN START THAT OFF.

I HAVE A QUESTION.

YES.

OH, I'M SORRY.

LET ME ACKNOWLEDGE COMMISSIONER SIG.

YEAH, I'M LOOKING AT EXHIBIT TWO B, I MEAN, YOU BEING PRESENT.

YES, YES.

THANK YOU.

, GO AHEAD.

PRESENT, YEAH.

YEAH.

I'M LOOKING AT EXHIBIT TWO B AND THERE IS A, UM, PYRAMID OF CONTAINERS WITH SCORPIONS LIVE OR DEAD.

AND I WAS GONNA ASK THE, THE OWNER, WERE THESE FOUND OUTSIDE OR INSIDE THE, THAT THAT PICTURE WAS APPARENTLY TAKEN BY MR. CLOSER TO THE TIME ON SOME OF THEM, WHICH INDICATES THEY WERE OUTSIDE, NOT INSIDE.

OKAY.

OKAY, MA'AM, CAN YOU PLEASE TURN YOUR MIC ON SO THAT WE CAN HEAR REMOTELY? THANK YOU.

ALL RIGHT.

ELLI.

I, WELL, I WAS JUST GONNA SAY, HOW, HOW MUCH TIME ELAPSED FOR THEM TO ASSEMBLE THIS MANY SCORPIONS? THE TENANT WAS GOING OUTSIDE AT NIGHT EVERY NIGHT WITH NEEDLE NOSE PLIERS, FINDING IN A, IN A BLACK LIGHT, FINDING SCORPIONS OUTSIDE AND PICKING THEM UP.

THAT, UH, THAT PYRAMID, THAT PICTURE OF PYRAMID HAPPENED, UH, TWO MONTHS LATER AFTER HE HAD ALREADY FI UH, TALKED WITH MR. MARINO.

[00:30:01]

AND I SUSPECT GIVEN, UH, MANY OTHER EXAGGERATIONS.

THE PICTURE I'M CIRCULATING IS AN EXAGGERATION EXAMPLE.

MANY OTHER EXAGGERATIONS AND MISREPRESENTATIONS, I SUSPECT THEY WERE FROM OUTSIDE.

MAYBE ONE OR TWO.

I DID SEE ONE THAT WAS INSIDE, UH, MYSELF.

BUT THAT'S ALL I SAW.

THANK YOU.

OKAY.

UM, MADAM CHAIR? UH, YES.

YES.

I'M SORRY.

WE ARE, UM, MAKING SURE THAT WE CAN MAKE THE EXHIBIT, UM, OR THE SUBMISSION AVAILABLE FOR REMOTELY YES.

FOR, UH, COMMISSIONER? NO.

OKAY.

IF SO, WE'RE GONNA HAVE THAT SCANNED AND THEN WE WILL CIRCULATE IT ONCE IT'S SCANNED.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

SO I THINK, UM, I HAVE COMMISSIONER SUGAR, DID YOU HAVE A QUESTION? AND THEN COMMISSIONER CAMPBELL, LESS OF A QUESTION, JUST GONNA OFFICIALLY MOVE TO CLOSE PUBLIC COMMENT, AND THEN WE CAN ASK QUESTIONS, RIGHT? IT'S GENERALLY HOW IT WORKS.

YEAH, WE CAN DO THAT.

I THINK WE'RE DONE WITH PUBLIC COMMENT SECOND.

COOL.

ALRIGHT, SO WE HAVE, UM, A MOTION TO CLOSE THE PUBLIC, PUBLIC PART OF THE HEARING, MEANING THAT THE OWNERS CAN NO LONGER GIVE TESTIMONY, BUT YOU COULD STILL ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.

SO DO WE HAVE ANYBODY THAT'S, UM, OPPOSED TO US CLOSING THE PUBLIC PART OF THE HEARING? NO.

OKAY.

WE'LL CLOSE THE PUBLIC PART OF THAT HEARING.

AND COMMISSIONER CAMPBELL, GO AHEAD.

UH, YEAH, THIS IS A QUESTION FOR MR. KATES.

UM, IT'S SOUNDS LIKE HERE THAT YOU'VE LAID OUT A, A THEORY OF HOW THE SCORPIONS ARE GETTING INTO THE HOME THROUGH THE TREE BRANCHES.

AND IT SOUNDS LIKE Y'ALL HAVE MADE REMEDY OF THAT BY CUTTING THOSE TREE BRANCHES, WHICH CLEARLY RESOLVED THE ISSUE BECAUSE THERE'S NO STANDING PENDING VIOLATION.

BUT IN THIS COMMISSION TONIGHT, YOU'RE CLAIMING THAT THERE NEVER WERE ANY SCORPIONS IN THE HOME, OR AT LEAST THAT THERE WEREN'T A SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM, AND THEREFORE THE CODE DOESN'T APPLY.

I, I, I'M JUST CURIOUS HOW YOU SQUARE THOSE, BECAUSE IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU'RE SAYING, ON THE ONE HAND, Y'ALL TOOK REMEDIES TO FIX THE PROBLEM OF SCORPIONS BEING IN THE HOME, BUT ALSO YOU'RE SKEPTICAL AS TO WHETHER THERE EVEN WERE.

I I, I'M JUST WONDERING, YOU KNOW, IT, IT, IT SEEMS LIKE YOU'RE SAYING THAT THERE WAS ESSENTIALLY A FRAUD CONDUCTED BY YOUR TENANTS.

AND I, I, I'M JUST, UM, WONDERING HOW THAT SQUARES WITH YOUR, YOUR TESTIMONY HERE THAT IT SEEMS LIKE YOU'VE GIVEN A IBLE EXPLANATION OF HOW THE SCORPIONS WERE GETTING IN THE HOME.

IF THAT'S THE CASE, THERE ARE A NUMBER OF MISCONCEPTIONS, UM, OUT THERE ABOUT THE PROBLEM WITH SCORPIONS.

UM, AND, AND I'VE HAD TO DEAL WITH THOSE OVER THE YEARS.

UM, ONE OF THEM, OF COURSE, I'VE ALREADY ADDRESSED.

AND THAT IS THAT, UH, THE COMMON MISCONCEPTION IS THAT SCORPIONS WILL ACTUALLY INFEST A HOME.

THE INFESTING MEANS THAT THEY WILL SPEND ALL OR MOST OF THEIR LIFE CYCLE IN, IN THAT PLACE THAT THEY INFEST, SCORPIONS DON'T DO THAT IN HUMAN DWELLINGS.

THEY'RE ONLY PASSING THROUGH THERE TRYING TO GET FROM GEN, GENERALLY SPEAKING FROM THE ROOF BACK TO THE OUTSIDE WHERE THEIR REFUGEE IS AND WHERE THEY HAVE THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS FOR THEM TO SURVIVE.

UH, THERE, THERE ARE TWO, UH, WAYS TO FIX THAT.

ONE I'VE ALREADY MENTIONED.

AND THAT IS REMOVING THOSE LIMBS SO THAT THEY ARE NOT ABLE TO ACCESS THE ROOF IN THE FIRST PLACE.

THE OTHER IS TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS, FOR EXAMPLE, OR ANY KIND OF CHEMICAL THAT OVERWHELMS THE, THE STRUCTURE ON THEIR VENTRAL SURFACE THAT IS, IT'S CALLED AINE.

IT'S, IT'S, UH, UH, IT, IT'S USED TO FOR THEM TO SENSE THEIR ENVIRONMENT.

AND IF YOU, UH, HAVE A SENSORY RICH ENVIRONMENT, IT OVERWHELMS THAT APPARATUS.

AND THEY'RE BASICALLY BLIND.

THEY, THEY HAVE VERY POOR EYESIGHT, VERY PRIMITIVE EYES, AND THEIR, THEIR EYES BASICALLY ARE IN THE FORM OF THE PECTUS THAT THEY HAVE ON THEIR VENTRAL SERVICE.

UH, SO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I HAD RECOMMENDED TO THIS CLIENT, TO THIS TENANT WAS THAT THEY USE ESSENTIAL OILS, UH, WHEREVER THEY WERE SEEING THOSE SCORPIONS IN THE HOUSE, UH, IN CONJUNCTION WITH, UH, MS. RIVERS HAVING THE TREE LIMBS REMOVED, UH, SHE REMOVED THE TREE LIMBS.

I'M NOT SURE THAT THEY EVER DECIDED

[00:35:01]

TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS, EVEN THOUGH THEY SEEM TO AGREE THAT THAT WAS A, A GOOD POINT.

BY THE WAY, PESTICIDES DO NOT WORK, UM, AGAINST SCORPIONS.

IT'S, IT'S NOT THAT IT WON'T KILL THEM, IT WILL, BUT IT HAS TO BE A DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE SCORPION.

AND SINCE THEY'RE JUST PASSING THROUGH, THAT'S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE, UH, TO ACCOMPLISH.

OKAY.

UM, I'M GOING TO SAY, UM, COMMISSIONER CAMPBELL, WAS YOUR QUESTION ANSWERED? UH, I, I, I THINK THAT I, I, I STILL DO NEED A BIT MORE CLARIFICATION HERE BECAUSE MY QUESTION ISN'T SO MUCH ABOUT WHAT THE APPROPRIATE METHODS OF ELIMINATING SCORPIONS ARE.

UM, AT VARIOUS POINTS IN THE CODE, IT SAYS INFESTATION, AND AT SOME POINTS IT SAYS PRESENCE OF, UM, THESE PASTS.

I, I, I JUST SUPPOSE I, I'M CURIOUS AS TO WHETHER IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL OPINION, THERE WERE SCORPIONS IN THE HOME RATHER THAN WHETHER THERE WAS, UM, SCORPIONS BLEEDING IN THE HOME.

BECAUSE THAT SEEMS TO BE THE ISSUE OF DISPUTE WHETHER OR NOT THERE WERE SCORPIONS THAT WERE IN THIS HOME.

NO, THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT THEY DID FIND SCORPIONS IN THE HOME.

UH, YOU SAW THE PICTURE OF THE STICKY TRAPS, THE, THE PYRAMID OF THEM.

THERE WERE 95 OF THOSE THAT WERE LEFT AT THE HOUSE.

NOW, THERE MAY HAVE BEEN MORE THAT SOME OF WHICH THEY TOOK WITH THEM.

WE, WE CAN'T SPEAK TO THAT.

BUT OF THOSE 95 THAT WERE THERE, FOUR WERE MARKED WITH THE LOCATION AND THE DATE WHEN THE SCORPION GOT ON THEM.

UM, 62 OF THOSE, BY THE WAY, HAD NO SCORPIONS ON THEM AT ALL.

21 DID FOUR OF THOSE 21 WERE MARKED WITH THE LOCATION AND THE DATE, THE DATE, BY THE WAY, WERE, UH, THE 12TH OF SEPTEMBER, ONE WAS FOUND IN THE DINING ROOM.

THE, UH, 13TH TWO SCORPIONS ON SEPARATE STICKY TRAPS.

ONE WAS FOUND IN THE, UH, UH, AT THE FRONT DOOR IN THE OTHER, IN THE UPSTAIRS BATHROOM.

UH, NOT SURPRISED THAT THEY FOUND ONE IN AN UPSTAIRS BATHROOM, BECAUSE THAT WOULD'VE BEEN VERY CLOSE TO WHERE THEY WERE TRYING TO FIRST GET INTO THE HOUSE AND THEN GET OUT TO THE OUTSIDE AT, AT THE DOORWAY.

UH, THE SCORPION WAS JUST ABOUT HOME .

UH, THEN ON THE 15TH, ONE WAS FOUND IN THE MASTER BEDROOM.

BEYOND THAT, THERE WERE NO STICKY TRAPS THAT WERE MARKED FOR WHERE THE DATE AND THE LOCATION, THE IMPLICATION, AND IT'S JUST AN IMPLICATION, IS THAT, OH, AND BY THE WAY, I, I, IN INSPECTING THE STICKY TRAPS, I NOTICED TWO THINGS.

A NUMBER OF THEM HAD COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF, UH, DMA EARTH, WHICH, UH, WAS VERY SUGGESTIVE THAT THESE WERE ACTUALLY LOCATED OUTSIDE.

A NUMBER OF THE OTHERS, A VERY LARGE NUMBER OF THEM HAD EARWIGS ON THEM.

WE DON'T OFTEN FIND EARWIGS INSIDE HOMES.

ONCE IN A WHILE, IT DOES HAPPEN, BUT IT'S VERY, VERY RARE, ESPECIALLY DURING DRY PERIODS, WHICH THIS WAS A DRY PERIOD.

UH, BECAUSE OF THAT, THE IMPLICATION TO ME WAS THAT MOST OF THESE STICKY TRAPS THAT HAD, OF THE 21 THAT HAD SCORPIONS ON THEM, WERE ACTUALLY COLLECTED OUTSIDE THE HOUSE.

THEY, THEY HAD PUT STICKY TRAPS OUT THERE, UH, AND THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE, OF THE STICKY TRAPS, SIMPLY THE 62 OF THEM HAD NOTHING ON THEM EXCEPT, UM, WELL, I THINK THERE WERE SOME, UH, SILVERFISH, UH, THERE WERE A, A FEW, UH, ANTS, NOT LARGE NUMBERS, UH, I THINK FOUR DIFFERENT SPECIES OF EVENTS.

UM, SOME, UH, SOME DOG HAIR.

UH, I THINK FE REMNANTS OF FEATHERS.

I, IF I CAN CUT YOU OFF HERE.

I, I, I DO THINK THAT AT THIS POINT YOU'VE ANSWERED MY QUESTION.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

ALL RIGHT.

UM, COMMISSIONER SLUGO AND THEN COMMISSIONER SHUGAR.

SO I JUST WANNA CUT A LITTLE BIT, UM, TO THE CHASE.

SO WE HAVE 21 OF THESE, UH, TRAPS, UM, HAD

[00:40:01]

SCORPIONS IN THEM, THE OTHERS HAD MISCELLANEOUS THINGS.

FOUR OF THESE ARE VERIFIED TO HAVE BEEN INSIDE, I GUESS, HAD A QUESTION FOR THE APPELLANT.

DO YOU HAVE ANY EVIDENCE OF THE CLAIM DEFRAUDING BY THE TENANT ON THIS CASE? ANY HARD EVIDENCE AT ALL? YES.

YES, SIR.

WE HAVE THE STICKY TRAPS.

WE HAVE THE THINGS THAT WERE TAKEN THAT YOUR PICTURE WAS TAKEN ON.

NO, I'M ASKING WHETHER YOU HAVE EVIDENCE THAT THE TENANT IS TRYING TO DEFRAUD YOU BY FAKING THESE TRAPS.

YES.

I HAVE A LONG HISTORY OF THE TENANTS COMPLAINING, UM, ABOUT, UH, ONE OR ASKING TO LEAVE THE PROPERTY.

THEY WANTED TO BREAK THE LEASE.

OKAY.

OKAY.

LET ME CUT YOU OFF.

THAT'S NOT EVIDENCE OF IF, IF A TENANT WANTS TO LEAVE BECAUSE THE HOUSING IS INVESTED WITH SCORPIONS.

THAT'S MY QUESTION IS, DO YOU HAVE ANY EVIDENCE THAT THE TENANT HAD A, A PLAN OR, OR ANY, ANY EVIDENCE THAT THEY HAD TAKEN ACTION TO PROVIDE PLANTED EVIDENCE TO THE CODE OFFICERS TO CREATE THIS CASE? YES.

WE HAVE THE STICKY TRAPS THAT HAVE D TENACIOUS EARTH ON 'EM.

THE D TENACIOUS EARTH WAS OUTSIDE, NOT INSIDE.

THEY PLA THEY LINED THE WALLS INSIDE OF THE DINING ROOM WITH D TENACIOUS EARTH, EARTH.

I HAVE PICTURES OF THE DMA EARTH, EXCUSE ME, THEY LINED THE WALLS INSIDE WITH THE STICKY TRAPS.

I HAVE PICTURES OF THE DIATOMACEOUS EARTH, WHICH WAS OUTSIDE.

SO THE TRAPS WERE, UH, OUTSIDE THAT HAD DIAC EARTH.

THOSE WERE THE ONES THAT WERE OUTSIDE THEN TRYING TO TELL THIS, THIS, THIS DEPARTMENT THAT, UM, THOSE WERE INSIDE IS SIMPLY WRONG.

AND WHAT ABOUT THE FOUR THAT WERE INSIDE? YES, THOSE WERE INSIDE.

OKAY.

OKAY.

I'M GOING TO, AND, AND, AND THE POINT, THE POINT HERE IS THAT OF COURSE, THERE WAS NO INFESTATION.

THERE NEVER WAS AN INFESTATION.

OKAY.

MS. RIVERS, UM, JUST LOOKING AT, YOU DID WRITE, UH, AN EMAIL TO INSPECTOR MORENO AT SOME POINT? YES, MA'AM.

AND IN, DO YOU REMEMBER THAT EMAIL? YES.

FROM NOVEMBER 6TH, 2023? I DO.

OKAY.

SO IN THAT EMAIL, YOU ACTUALLY DID STATE THAT THE D HELP ME WITH THE PRONUNCIATION.

THE OUS EARTH WAS PUT ALONG THE OUTSIDE PERIMETER OF THE HOUSE.

CORRECT.

SO OUTSIDE PERIMETER, SOUNDS LIKE IT WAS RIGHT AROUND THE LIVING AREA, CORRECT? RIGHT.

IT WAS ON THE OUTSIDE THOUGH, NOT ON THE INSIDE.

OKAY.

IT WAS ON THE PATIO, ESSENTIALLY, ACTUALLY, WHAT THEY DID, YOU SAW A PICTURE OF THE ROCKS, THE ROCK WALL.

IT'S A, IT'S A PRETTY NARROW PATIO.

HE PUT IT ALONG THE ROCK WALL AND THEN HE TOOK UP SOME OF THE PAVERS AND PUT IT ALONG THE PAVERS.

OKAY.

IS, UM, COMMISSIONER SHUGAR, UM, YEAH, I GUESS THIS IS ALSO PROBABLY MORE OF A QUESTION FOR STAFF, MAYBE ROBERT.

UM, IT'S PROBABLY LIKE THE SECOND APPEAL OF VIOLATION I'VE BEEN ON.

AND TO ME, OUR COMMISSION IS VERY STRAIGHTFORWARD.

UM, WHEN IT COMES TO AN APPEAL, ALL WE'RE DECIDING IS NOT WHETHER WE'RE LEVERAGING ANYTHING AGAINST Y'ALL, ANY KIND OF, UH, FINANCIAL FINES, ANYTHING LIKE THAT.

WE'RE JUST DECIDING WHEN THE NOTICE OF VIOLATION WAS SET, WAS THERE AN ISSUE? TO MY MIND, THERE WAS AN ISSUE.

WE'VE SEEN SCORPIONS, THEY WERE IN THE HOUSE.

IF THAT'S THE CASE, WE SAY THE VIOLATION WAS, YOU KNOW, IT WAS RIGHTFULLY, UH, GIVEN THAT'S, UH, DECIDED.

YES IT WAS.

BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE LIABLE.

YOU'LL GET YOUR HOUSE REINSPECTED, SCORPIONS ARE TAKEN CARE OF, AND YOU'RE GOOD TO GO.

EVERYTHING'S FINE.

SO, AM I UNDERSTANDING THAT CORRECTLY? THAT'S CORRECT.

THEY ARE BASICALLY JUST APPEALING WHETHER THE VIOLATION EXISTED ALL AT ALL OR NOT.

OKAY.

THE CASE IS CLOSED, EVERYTHING'S DONE.

OKAY.

THEY'RE JUST DETERMINING WHETHER THEY HAD AN ISSUE.

SO WITH THAT IN MIND, I'M JUST GOING TO CUT TO THE CHASE AND I PERSONALLY WOULD MOVE TO CLOSE, UH, THE HEARING AND ADOPT STATUS.

I, SORRY, COMMISSIONER BACK FINDINGS OF FACT.

YES.

THE HEARING IS ALREADY CLOSED, BUT GO AHEAD.

YEAH, NO, I THINK JAMES, SO WE HAVE AN MR. OH, SORRY.

OKAY.

WE'LL SEE THE EXHIBIT, BUT OKAY.

YOU KIND OF KNOW WHERE I STAND ON THIS AT LEAST.

DO WE, DO WE, YOU KNOW, THERE'S A VIOLATION.

UM, BENIGNO, GO AHEAD.

YES.

CAN WE PLEASE HEAR IN DETAIL, 'CAUSE I DON'T THINK ANY DETAIL WAS GIVEN WHY THIS IS RESULTING IN REQUIRING OF SELLING THE HOUSE.

I'M NOT SURE WE'RE, WE'VE HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT THE DAMAGES THAT YOU IMPLIED THAT THERE WERE FOR HAVING A VIOLATION LEVIED AGAINST THE PROPERTY.

SO THAT MIGHT ADD AT LEAST A LITTLE BIT OF CLARITY AS TO YOUR VEHEMENT THAT THIS BE REMOVED FROM THE RECORD OF THE PROPERTY.

YES.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU FOR THAT.

OKAY.

SO JUST TO ADD ON THAT,

[00:45:01]

UH, COMMISSIONER BENIGNO, I, I LIKE THAT QUESTION.

AND I NOTICED ALSO 'CAUSE I WAS GOING TO REMIND MS. RYAN, WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO TESTIFY AS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE NOTICE OF VIOLATION HAS HAD ON YOUR INTENT TO SELL.

SO ALSO, IF YOU COULD ANSWER THOSE TWO QUESTIONS, WHY YOU HAVE TO SELL.

UM, I'LL SAY THE REALTOR WILL BE A BETTER PERSON TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS.

WELL, OKAY.

WELL, IT'S ON, IT'S IT ON, UM, THE REASON WHY SHE'S SELLING THE HOME IS BECAUSE OF THIS CONSISTENT, THIS SITUATION THAT TRANSPIRED WITH, WITH HER IN THIS.

THEY'VE FOUND THE, HAD THE HOME, WE'VE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH IT BEFORE, AND WE DON'T KNOW WHERE WE'RE THE NEXT STEP IS THAT THEY MAY TAKE PLACE IN THIS.

AND WE HAVE CLEARED IT UP, AND YOU ALL ARE SAYING THIS, BUT IT HAS CAUSED SITUATIONS WITH, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENED HERE.

AND THE HOME IS FULL OF SCORPIONS.

AND, UM, THIS HAS BEEN A SITUATION TO WHERE IT'S BEEN TAKEN CARE OF.

AND SHE'S, I'M DONE WITH THIS.

I'M GETTING OUT.

I, YOU KNOW, OUR INVESTMENT HAS BEEN, YOU KNOW, WE FEEL IT COULD GET, YOU KNOW, WE FEEL THAT THIS SITUATION HAS JUST CAUSED A YES.

IF I MAY ADD SOME COLOR TO THAT ANSWER.

THE, UM, THE TENANTS HAVE A LAWYER.

THEY'VE DEMANDED, UH, MANY TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.

THEY, UH, THE FACT OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE NOTICE OF VIOLATION MUST BE REVEALED.

MY REALTOR TELLS ME IS, UH, WE HAVE NOTE, WE HAVE DISCLOSURES THAT MUST BE GIVEN.

AND THE CITY'S YOUR DECISION TONIGHT TO SAY THE CODE VIOLATION SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ISSUED.

YOU CAN BASE THAT ON THE EXPERT TESTIMONY YOU HAVE RECEIVED, THAT THERE WAS NO INFESTATION, FOUR SCORPIONS FOUND IN THE HOUSE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN INFESTATION.

AND AS A MATTER OF LAW, THE ORDINANCE THAT ALLOWS THE DEPARTMENT TO ISSUE SUCH VIOLATIONS IS FOR INFESTATIONS OF RODENTS AND INSECTS.

SCORPIONS, AS MR. CAGE SAYS, OR IS NEITHER A RODENT NOR AN INSECT.

SO WE ASK THIS COMMISSION TO CONSIDER HELPING A LANDOWNER TO AVOID THE MIGHTY POWER OF THE CITY IN, IN DEMONIZING MY PROPERTY IN AN EFFORT TO, UM, HELP A TENANT WHO I NEVER GOT A CHANCE TO EVEN RESPOND TO BEFORE THE VIOLATION WAS ISSUED.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

UM, COMMISSIONER FRANCIS, MAY I, MAY I TELL YOU ABOUT THE DISCLOSURE, WHICH IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT IN THE SALE OF A HOME AND WHY THIS IS WELL, WE ASKED YOU TO, WHEN YOU HAD THE CHANCE, REMEMBER OKAY.

AT THE PODIUM.

SO I THINK WE ARE ALL RESPECTFULLY, THAT'S WHAT THE QUESTION WAS.

I'M SORRY.

SHE WANTS TO TALK.

TELL US MORE ABOUT THE DISCLOSURES REQUIRED FOR SELLERS IN TEXAS.

NO, I'M AWARE.

I'M, I'M SAYING RESPECTFULLY TO THE REALTOR.

THAT IS WHAT THE QUESTION WAS.

WE'RE ASKING WHY THE DISCLOSURE IS SO DAMAGING.

I THANK YOU.

I, I ASKED IT, YOU WERE SET UP TO TESTIFY ABOUT IT, AND WE STILL HAVE NOT HEARD SPECIFICALLY.

SO IF YOU COULD PLEASE BE DETAILED ABOUT ABSOLUTELY.

WHY, EXCUSE ME, IT'S SO DAMAGING.

YEAH, SURE.

SO WHEN, WHEN A HOME GOES ON THE MARKET, UM, FOR SALE, THIS HAS BEEN A CONCERN THAT WHEN WE, WHICH RICKY WAS GOING TO BE WAITING A COUPLE OF YEARS BEFORE WE SELL, BUT AT THIS POINT, SHE DECIDED TO DO THIS.

NOW BECAUSE THIS CODE HAS BEEN ON THERE, THERE'S A DISCLOSURE STATEMENT THAT WHEN YOU SELL YOUR HOME, YOU HAVE TO FILL OUT FOR THE, UM, FOR THE REAL ESTATE COMPANY THAT TELLS YOU YOUR AIR CONDITIONER, YOU KNOW, IF YOU'VE HAD PEST PROBLEMS, ROOF PROBLEMS, THIS IS LIKE A SEVEN, FOUR TO SEVEN PAGE DOCUMENT.

AND SO ON THIS DISCLOSURE, RICKY WILL HAVE TO PUT INFESTATION OF, AS IT'S QUOTED BY THE CITY OF, OF THE, UH, OF SCORPIONS AND WHAT THE SITUATION IS.

ALL OF THE DOCUMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BY, UM, THE CITY, UM, ALL HAS TO BE ATTACHED TO THIS.

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK'S GOING TO HAPPEN AT THIS POINT? WHEN A BUYER COMES IN TO LOOK AT THIS $1.7 MILLION HOME TO PURCHASE AND WE HAVE INFESTATION OF SCORPIONS, WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN TO OUR PRICE? THEY'RE NOT GONNA GIVE HER WHAT SHE'S ASKING FOR.

AND THAT'S, THAT'S, THAT'S KIND OF WHERE WE ARE.

MR. BIDDINGO, WHAT I WISH TO DISCLOSE IS THAT THE COMMISSION, OKAY, WE CAN'T REVOKED IT.

WE CAN'T KEEP, YOU KNOW, GIVING THIS, I KNOW WE ASKED FOR DETAILS, BUT WE, WHEN WE SAID DETAILS, WE ALSO WANT YOU TO BE CONCISE, AS YOU KNOW.

SO WE'VE ALREADY CLOSED THE PUBLIC PART OF THE HEARING, AND SO YOU'LL HAVE QUESTIONS POSED TO YOU.

AND MY SUGGESTION IS TO BE AS CLEAR AS POSSIBLE, UM, TO ANSWER THE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS.

'CAUSE THAT WOULD HELP THE COMMISSIONERS KNOW WHAT TO DO.

UM, COMMISSIONER BENIGNO, WAS YOUR QUESTION ANSWERED?

[00:50:02]

YES, BUT I ALSO HAD A QUESTION FOR MR. KATES.

SURE, GO AHEAD.

I GUESS I'M LOOKING KIND OF ESSENTIALLY FOR A YES OR NO ANSWER.

AND MY QUESTION IS, IS YOUR TESTIMONY THAT BECAUSE SCORPIONS CAN'T SURVIVE IN A HOUSE FOR LONGER THAN 24 HOURS APPROXIMATELY, THEN BY DEFINITION THERE CANNOT BE A SCORPION INFESTATION BECAUSE THEY CAN'T LIVE AND BREED THERE.

IS THAT WHAT YOUR TESTIMONY, THE, THE CRUX OF IT WAS QUESTION? UH, THAT'S CORRECT.

THANK YOU.

OKAY.

EXCUSE ME.

MADAM CHAIR.

UM, YES, GO AHEAD.

MAY I HAVE YOUR PERMISSION TO CIRCULATE THE OPPONENT'S EXHIBIT? YES.

WAS MS. UH, COMMISSIONER IGNER ABLE TO GET IT? I BELIEVE SO.

HE HAS ACCESS TO THE, TO THE GOOGLE DRIVE, UH, FOLDER THAT WE HAVE SET UP ONLINE, AND IT SHOULD BE THERE.

EXCELLENT.

YEAH.

WE WILL, UM, GO AHEAD AND ADMIT THE OWNER'S EXHIBIT, WHICH IS THE PHOTOGRAPH MARKED AS ONE.

YES.

EXHIBIT ONE.

OKAY.

UM, COMMISSIONER FRANCIS, YOU CAN CONTINUE.

UM, WITHDRAW MY QUESTION.

MADAM CHAIR.

COMMISSIONER, STILL, UH, THANK YOU MADAM CHAIR.

I, I JUST HAVE A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS AND I THINK THEY'RE BOTH GONNA BE FOR, UM, COUNSEL MS. HERRERA.

UM, SO, UM, SO THE FIRST QUESTION, UM, I APOLOGIZE, THIS IS A LITTLE BIT OPEN-ENDED BECAUSE I'M NOT REALLY SURE HOW TO MAKE IT MORE SUCCINCT THAN THIS.

AND I REALIZE THAT THIS PHASE HAS ALREADY GONE ON FOR A WHILE.

SO WITH APOLOGIES, I WONDER IF YOU COULD PROVIDE ANY GUIDANCE TO THE, TO THE COMMISSION ABOUT SORT OF WHAT WE SHOULD THINK OF IN TERMS OF OUR STANDARDS AT THIS STAGE? UH, I GUESS, SO SORT OF BY WAY OF ANALOGY, YOU CAN IMAGINE THERE'S THE STANDARD THAT SOMEBODY WOULD NEED TO ARREST SOMEONE FOR A CRIME MIGHT BE A PROBABLE CAUSE, BUT THE STANDARD TO CONVICT THEM WOULD BE A HIGHER STANDARD OF, YOU KNOW, REASONABLE DOUBT, YOU KNOW, BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT, THAT SORT OF THING.

AND, AND, AND SO I, I GUESS WHAT I'M CURIOUS ABOUT IS, AT THIS STAGE, PARDON ME, SORRY ABOUT THAT.

AT THIS STAGE WHERE IT'S AN APPEAL FROM A NOTICE OF VIOLATION WHERE WE'RE SORT OF NOT AT THE END STAGE WHERE AS COMMISSIONER CHUGA WAS POINTING OUT, WE PROPOSED TO IMPOSE SOME KIND OF PENALTY AT THIS STAGE, IS THERE A STANDARD THAT HELPS US WEIGH, OKAY, ON THE ONE HAND WE HAVE THIS PHOTOGRAPH WITH THIS GIANT PYRAMID OF SCORPIONS, YOU KNOW, THAT WOULD APPEAR TO CLEAR ONE HURDLE FOR A NOTICE OF VIOLATION, AT LEAST SOME OF US MIGHT THINK SO, WHEREAS AT A LATER STAGE, MR. CAGES COMES IN AND EXPLAINS TO US WHY SCORPIONS CAN'T INFEST IN THE WAY ALLEGED, OR WHY THESE, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN SHOW TECHNICAL REASONS WHY WE MIGHT, WE MIGHT THINK, OKAY, NOTWITHSTANDING THE INTUITIVE, YOU KNOW, PLAUSIBILITY OF AN INFESTATION BASED ON WHAT WE SAW BEFORE, WELL, NOW WE MIGHT, WE MIGHT DECIDE, OKAY, WE'RE NOT GOING TO IMPOSE A PENALTY.

UM, IS THERE ANY, IS THERE ANY SORT OF RUBRIC OR FRAMEWORK, YOU KNOW, THAT WOULD HELP US, HELP US DECIDE WHETHER OKAY, THEY MAKE GOOD POINTS, BUT THAT'S FOR LATER, YOU KNOW, WE, WE THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, BASED ON WHAT WE'VE SEEN, THERE WAS ENOUGH FOR THIS FOR STAFF TO, TO TO, TO AT LEAST PUT A NOTICE OF VIOLATION.

AND I DO HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION, BUT I'LL LEAVE THAT ONE FOR NOW.

SO, NO, ABSOLUTELY.

I, I UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU'RE SAYING.

AND, AND UNFORTUNATELY THERE REALLY IS NO BURDEN OF PROOF, FOR EXAMPLE, LIKE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT OR, YOU KNOW, CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT'S APPLIED TO THESE TYPES OF QUASI-JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS.

UM, IT REALLY IS A MATTER OF, YOU KNOW, BASED ON YOUR OWN INDIVIDUAL OPINION DISCRETION, UM, THOUGHT, RIGHT.

DO YOU ALL BELIEVE THAT A VIOLATION OF CITY CODE DID IN FACT OCCUR ON THE DATE THAT IT WAS ALLEGED TO HAVE OCCURRED? UM, THAT IS INCLUDED IN THE NOV BASED ON ALL OF THE EVIDENCE AND TESTIMONY THAT HAVE BEEN PRESENTED TO YOU BOTH BY THE CITY AND ALSO BY MS. RIVERS, UM, TONIGHT.

SO IT, IT'S PRETTY BROAD, UM, AND IT DOES GIVE YOU ALL A, A GOOD DEAL OF DISCRETION.

BUT YES, AS FAR AS YOU KNOW, WHAT KIND OF BURDEN OR WHAT KIND OF STANDARD OF PROOF CAN I RELY UPON, THERE REALLY ISN'T ONE FOR THIS PARTICULAR PROCEEDING.

OKAY.

THANK YOU COUNSEL.

AND THEN I, I, LIKE I SAID, I HAVE A BRIEF SECOND QUESTION.

I THINK THIS GOES TO THE, UM, THE SECOND QUESTION GOES TO THE TERMS THAT WERE, THAT WERE USED.

THERE'S BEEN A REFERENCE MADE TO THE TERMS LIKE RODENT AND, UM, AND INSECT IN THE, IN THE PAST PROVISION.

AND I GATHER THAT THESE ARE TERMS THAT HAVE, UM, TECHNICAL AND NON-TECHNICAL SENSES.

YOU KNOW, LIKE, I THINK, SO, YOU KNOW, WEBSTER'S DICTIONARY FOR RODENT, YOU COULD BE TALKING ABOUT THE, YOU KNOW, THE, THE ORDER OF RODIA, BUT IT COULD ALSO BE, YOU KNOW, LIKE A SMALL MAMMAL, LIKE A RABBIT OR A SHREWD, IT'S NOT TECHNICALLY WITHIN THAT ORDER, BUT, BUT YOU KNOW, PEOPLE WOULD USE THE WORD RODENT TO REFER TO IT SIMILARLY, UM, YOU KNOW, A SECOND SENSE OF INSECT, IT COULD BE A MEMBER OF THE CLASS INSECTA, THESE ARTHROPODS, BUT I THINK THERE'S A SECOND SENSE WHERE IT COULD BE SPIDERS AND CENTIPEDES AND ARACHNE AND SO FORTH.

UM, DO WE HAVE ANY GUIDANCE

[00:55:01]

ON HOW, UM, FOR EXAMPLE, A DISTRICT COURT REVIEWING ONE OF OUR ORDERS WOULD BE LIKELY TO CONSTRUE THAT TERM AS IT APPEARS IN CODE, UM, AS BETWEEN THE TECHNICAL SENSE THAT WOULD LIMIT IT TO SOMETHING THAT'S TECHNICALLY OF THE ORDER IN SECA IN THE NOT TECHNICAL SENSE, UNDER WHICH IT WOULD PROBABLY INCLUDE LIKE A SPIDER OR A SCORPION.

AND THAT'S, THAT'S ALL I HAVE.

I'LL, I'LL YIELD BACK.

THANK YOU CHAIR.

I'M, I'M SORRY, THE, SO THE QUE YEAH.

I WAS ASKING IF, IF YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS OH, AS TO WHETHER, SO IF WE WERE TO FIND SOMEBODY TO HAVE A PEST INFEST INFESTATION ON THE BASIS OF INFESTATION BY A SCORPION OR A SPIDER, IN YOUR VIEW, WOULD THAT, WOULD THAT FALL AFOUL OF THE ORDINANCE? BECAUSE THERE'S A TECHNICAL SENSE UNDER WHICH THE WORD INSECT DOESN'T INCLUDE SCORPIONS OR SPIDERS.

RIGHT.

AND I THINK PART OF THE ISSUE IS I'M NOT AWARE, I'D HAVE TO LOOK AT THE CODE AND SEE IF, IF THE CODE EVEN PROVIDES A DEFINITION, RIGHT, UM, OF THESE TERMS. AND THEN OF COURSE, GENERALLY IF THERE'S NO DEFINITION PROVIDED BY CODE, WE LOOK TO, YOU KNOW, AS YOU POINTED OUT, WHAT IS A DICTIONARY OR, YOU KNOW, WHAT IS THE GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT THAT TERM MEANS, UM, IS USUALLY HOW A COURT, FOR EXAMPLE, WOULD, WOULD LOOK AT IT.

IF, IF A STATUTE DOESN'T PROVIDE A AN EXPLICIT DEFINITION, UM, I CAN CERTAINLY TAKE A, A, A QUICK LOOK AND SEE IF THERE IS ANYTHING IN CODE THAT CAN ALSO KIND OF PROVIDE.

AT THE END OF THE DAY, I DO WANT TO KIND OF STRESS THE MORE OR LESS STANDARD THAT WE HAVE, WHICH IS, IT'S REALLY WITHIN Y'ALL'S YOUR, YOU ALL'S DISCRETION TO LISTEN TO THE EVIDENCE, LISTEN TO THE TESTIMONY, WEIGH THEM, AND, AND ULTIMATELY MAKE A DECISION BASED OFF OF, UM, BASED OFF OF THAT.

SURE.

SO BASED ON AND CREDIBILITY AND THINGS OF THAT SORT.

OKAY.

THANK, THANK YOU COUNSEL.

SO BASED ON WHAT YOU'RE SAYING, IT SOUNDS LIKE JUST OFF THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD, IT'S NOT LIKE THIS COMES UP ALL THE TIME AND OH YEAH, IT'S WELL ESTABLISHED FROM THE CASE OF SO-AND-SO VERSUS SO AND SO THAT SCORPIONS DON'T COUNT.

YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT THAT YOU KNOW, IT, IT MAY VERY WELL BE THE CASE THAT THAT, YOU KNOW, A SCORPION IS AN INSECT, AT LEAST, YOU KNOW, BROADLY, BROADLY DEFINED.

SO, UM, THANK YOU COUNSEL.

THANK YOU, MADAM CHAIR.

OKAY.

UM, YEAH, SO I, I AGREE I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THAT.

BUT THEN WHEN WE START DIVING DEEP INTO THOSE DEFINITIONS, UNLESS THERE'S SPECIFICALLY IN THE CODE, UM, AS OPPOSED TO LOOKING AT LOOKING AT THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW, THE CODE ITSELF, THEN I AM WORRIED THAT WE'LL HAVE A LOT OF THESE, UM, CASES COMING BACK TO US BASED ON THE SEMANTICS, WHICH IT IS IMPORTANT IN THE BIOLOGICAL, UM, THOSE KINDS OF, UM, WORLDS.

BUT AS FAR AS, UM, COMMON USAGE, THEN WE MIGHT HAVE TO GO WITH THAT.

UM, SO I HAVE COMMISSIONER FRANCIS AND THEN COMMISSIONER OLUGO AND COMMISSIONER CAMPBELL IN THAT ORDER.

THANK YOU MADAM CHAIR.

I GUESS, UH, FOR THE INSPECTOR, UH, I'M STRUGGLING WITH THE WORD INFESTATION.

I LIVED IN TEXAS A LONG TIME AND SCORPIONS EVERY NOW AND THEN THERE'S TWO OR THREE OF 'EM IN THE HOUSE.

I WOULD NEVER CONSIDER THAT TO BE AN INFESTATION.

JUST COMES ALONG WITH LIVING HERE, UH, HAPPENS, RIGHT? SO TO SAY THERE WAS AN INFESTATION, WE'VE ALREADY HEARD THAT THAT'S AN INCORRECT ASSUMPTION, RIGHT? THAT'S JUST CAN'T OCCUR GIVEN THE SPECIES OF, OR THE SCORPION THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.

SO IT WOULD SEEM TO BE CONTRADICTORY TO HAVING ISSUED THIS, DETERMINING SEEMS SOMEWHAT SUBJECTIVE ABOUT WHETHER THIS IS AN INFESTATION, RIGHT? INFESTATION, I WALK IN AND IT TAKES MY BREATH AWAY.

OKAY, NUTS.

MAYBE QUANTI QUALIFIES AS THAT, BUT A COUPLE OF SCORPIONS ONE DAY JUST SEEMS TO BE DIFFICULT TO LABEL THAT AS INFESTATION IN MY OPINION.

I, I'VE HAD 'EM IN THE HOUSE TOO, SO I, YOU KNOW, AND IT'S CYCLICAL AND THEN THEY'RE GONE.

AND ANYWAY, SO IT, THAT DEFINITION OF, AND IT SAYS RIGHT THERE, FREE FROM INSECTS AND RODENT INFESTATION AND NOT JUST HAVING AN INSECT.

WE ALL GOT ROACHES EVERY NOW AND THEN, BUT DOES IT QUALIFY THAT BY BEING THE WORD INFESTATION? I THINK THAT'S WHERE IT BECOMES A LITTLE MURKY IN, IN MY OPINION.

OKAY.

I DO HAVE A QUESTION FOR INSPECTOR MORENO FIRST, UM, DID I CUT YOU OFF OR ARE YOU DONE? OKAY, SO, UM, JUST LOOKING AT THE NOTES FROM THE, THE, THIS CASE, IT LOOKS LIKE YOU WERE ABLE TO GO INSIDE IN OCTOBER, AT THE END OF OCTOBER.

DO YOU REMEMBER THAT? YES MA'AM.

AND WOULD, HOW MANY DID YOU SEE? BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE YOU SAW SOME SCORPIONS, UM, INSIDE THE HOME, NOT ON THE PATIO, SO, YEAH.

CAN YOU TELL US, ACCORDING TO THE TENANT, THE ON EXHIBIT TWO B, THOSE WERE THE STICKY TRAPS THAT WERE IN ON THE INTERIOR OF THE HOME.

AND THOSE WERE REMOVED BEFORE I GOT THERE BECAUSE OF THE TODDLER IN THE HOME.

OKAY, SO YOU SAW THE SAME PYRAMID THAT WE ARE LOOKING AT? CORRECT.

AND SOME OF THOSE SCORPIONS INSIDE THE STICKY TRAPS WERE STILL ALIVE.

EXCELLENT.

OH, THE, SOME WERE ALIVE.

OKAY.

YES.

YES, MA'AM.

ALRIGHT, THANK YOU.

UM, COMMISSIONER FRANCIS.

YEAH,

[01:00:01]

I'M SORRY THEN I, THEN I MISUNDERSTOOD.

SO YOU'RE SAYING THOSE WERE ALL PILED UP INSIDE THE HOUSE WHEN YOU SHOWED UP? UH, UH, THAT'S, YES.

THEY WERE INSIDE THE, THE GARAGE AND LAUNDRY ROOM.

OKAY.

UM, THE, THE, THE TENANT AT THAT TIME TOLD ME HE REMOVED 'EM FROM THE INTERIOR OF THE HOME.

OKAY.

BECAUSE, BECAUSE OF THE TODDLER.

ALRIGHT, THANK YOU.

AND YES, AND SO WE'LL THEN ALSO TALK ABOUT WHETHER THE PATIO IS CONSIDERED PART OF THE HOUSE FOR THOSE PURPOSES.

SO WE HAVE A LOT OF DEFINITIONS, UM, IN FRONT OF US TONIGHT.

WOULD IT BE ACCEPTABLE FOR THE INFEST IF THERE WERE ANY INFESTATION WILL BE ACCEPT ACCEPTABLE IF IT WAS ON THE PATIO AS OPPOSED TO BE, YOU KNOW, INSIDE THE FRONT DOOR? SO COMMISSIONER OLUGO, SO IT SEEMS THAT ALSO THE, UH, UH, THE GARAGE AND THE PA AND THE LAUNDRY ROOM WERE, UH, DEFINED AS OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE BY, BY THE APPELLANT.

I'LL, I'LL BE VERY CLEAR, IF 20 SCORPIONS