Neighborhood Services

Neighborhood Services

Government / Departments / Neighborhood Services

About Us

Preserving the quality and character of Danbury’s neighborhoods, as well as improving and maintaining the quality of life for all of its residents, is the primary goal for the Office of Neighborhood Assistance, also known as the UNIT (Unified Neighborhood Inspection Team).

The UNIT combats Blight, Health, Housing, Zoning, and Fire code violations by working closely with those respective departments in a timely and professional manner. Concerns ranging from blighted properties, illegal apartments, unregistered vehicles, neighborhood nuisances, unpermitted construction, and overcrowded, unsafe living conditions are just some of the issues that our department addresses. Additionally, the UNIT partners with the Danbury Police Department to investigate illegal dumping, issue tickets for parking violations, and remove any abandoned or unregistered motor vehicles parked on city streets. 

Our department has become the model of “one-stop shopping,” as residents can submit a complaint regarding any matter of concern and it will be appropriately addressed. It is essential for our team to respond quickly and efficiently to their concerns. We appreciate their support in helping to maintain and improve the quality of life for all residents of Danbury. Our department strives to enhance Danbury’s position as a premier place to live, work, and raise a family.

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, our department continued to work and even adapted our daily responsibilities to assist various departments with the enforcement of state mandates for restaurants, bars, health club facilities, salons, etc. Our department also assisted the Health Department with the operation of the expanded homeless shelter, including screening residents and recruiting staff. Additionally, the UNIT coordinated the free distribution of PPE materials to Danbury businesses over a period of three months to ensure that our businesses have some of the essential equipment to operate and re-open their business.

Our Accomplishments

For the fiscal year 2019-2020, the UNIT responded to and handled nearly 1,000 quality of life issues. 

  • Approximately 38% of UNIT activity was a result of proactive enforcement referred to as ACTION (Active Commitment Toward Improving Our Neighborhoods). Instead of waiting for a resident complaint or overlooking an issue in a neighborhood, our department addresses it quickly before it may become a greater concern. 
  • Nearly 270 properties containing garbage and debris were cleaned up due to UNIT intervention. These issues create an eyesore in our community that can decrease the value of the properties.
  • Nearly 80 Blight Orders and Violation Notices were issued to property owners to address and correct blighted conditions. These orders carry a $100/day penalty if the items are not corrected within a 30 day period. Our department placed a lien on egregiously non-compliant properties in excess of $45,000.
  • Nearly 120 properties were inspected due to concerns of illegal apartments or unsafe living conditions, as well as unpermitted construction. All concerns/complaints are inspected to ensure the safety of our residents. Our department will coordinate the efforts of the Zoning, Building, Health, and Fire Marshal departments to ensure safety and code compliance.
  • Over $8,000 in parking tickets were issued. The UNIT assists the Danbury Police Department with the enforcement of parking violations and vehicles parked on the sidewalk.
  • We coordinate and oversee the Clean Start staff and community service volunteers by assigning them cleanup/improvement tasks throughout the city. Litter pickup, graffiti removal, and larger-scale area cleanups are a few of the many accomplishments achieved by these work crews.
  • With a Downtown UNIT Coordinator, our department was able to better encompass the community and provide more intimate coverage for the downtown neighborhood.

 

Future Objectives

  • Expand the enforcement of unlicensed auto mechanic and repair shops within the city, ensuring that businesses are operating under their required license and certifications, as well as within safe working environments. 
  • Increase enforcement and surveillance in areas where illegal dumping and graffiti are recurring problems. Generally speaking, due to the vigilance of our department in these areas, this problem does not burden us to the extent of other large cities; however, it still exists and is costly to the city as it pertains to clean up and removal.
  • Continue coordination and partnerships with other departments within city hall to enforce compliance of night time businesses as it relates to noise, permitted use, and licensure. 

The UNIT’s most notable accomplishments are measured every day as our department strives to preserve and maintain the quality of life in Danbury. Each resolved issue equals a small, individual success resulting in the overall positive appearance of Danbury’s neighborhoods. We pride ourselves on our quick responses, professional service, and appropriate follow-up to the concerns of the residents of Danbury.  

Downtown District Unit

The City of Danbury’s Downtown UNIT Department is charged with the well-being of the Downtown Revitalization Zone (DRZ) and related urban districts. The Downtown UNIT works closely with all City entities and focuses relations with groups such as CityCenter, Main St. Partnership, Downtown Safety Initiative, Spring Street Neighborhood Association and many non-profit entities, thereby bridging the gap between private and public sectors. These initiatives ensure that Danbury’s downtown will continue to be a vibrant and safe urban core for the foreseeable future.

Cooperation from our Police, Fire, Public Works, Health, Welfare, and Zoning Departments has enabled the UNIT to have a critical impact on our ability to provide a safe and business-friendly environment to the downtown.  The enforcement of code has been effective due to constant monitoring of downtown, combined with social work and other assistance.  The Downtown UNIT has become very adept at reaching all personalities and linking problems with solutions. As a result, new proactive ideas have been initiated to combat these urban core social issues:

  • Broken Windows Principle: The theory being that areas tend to stay clean when kept clean and unkempt when kept unkempt; if we do not fix that first broken window, then there will be two, and then three and so on.  This principle works only when all interested parties work together to achieve a common goal.
  • Development of the Spring Street Neighborhood Association.  This association has led to a strengthening of one of Danbury’s oldest and proudest neighborhoods.  The neighborhood association has raised awareness of safety and quality of life issues holding several neighborhood meetings and a viable neighborhood watch.
  • Community Service for repeat offenders in the DRZ (panhandling, public drinking, graffiti).
  • Revolving Door Meetings: These gatherings have brought the brightest and most influential decision makers to real-time actions and solutions. Some of these groups include representatives of Danbury Hospital Department Head of Psychiatry, Director of CityCenter, Police, Lawmakers, and non-profits.
  • Growth:  Downtown Danbury is transforming with the construction of new luxury apartments, expansion of Naugatuck Community College and the opening of new businesses.

In addition, we continue our brand of umbrella code enforcement pertaining to illegal construction, illegal apartments, sidewalk enforcement, clean communities ordinance, entertainment license protocol, and the overall well-being of our city.  The Downtown UNIT works alongside other members of the UNIT to give our entire municipality the most effective and efficient department of its kind.  We have always been the statewide leader in innovative hybrid approaches to problem-solving and we will continue to be the most innovative thus far. Our department is proud to be of service to our citizens and will continue to keep Danbury the best city to live, work and be educated.

FAQ

If a foreclosed property has fallen into disrepair, has garbage, or overgrown grass, please submit a service request to the UNIT who will then investigate. Oftentimes, due to the lengthy process of contacting the bank who owns the property, it will take a little longer to have it cleaned up than normal - your patience and understanding in such an instance is greatly appreciated.

Please submit a service request for the UNIT, who will then investigate the vehicle.

Please submit a service request to the UNIT who will then inspect the property to see if anything can be done to ensure that the quality-of-life remains high for all residents.

You may submit a service request to the UNIT, who will then investigate. If the vehicle is parked during the evening hours or on the weekend, please indicate the times so we can follow up appropriately.

Please submit a service request to the UNIT to report a suspected unregistered vehicle and indicate if license plates are on the car or not, and provide said data.

From Monday-Thursday, during the hours of 8am-6pm, please call 311 to report sidewalk parking in order to receive a timely response. During non-business hours for City Hall please contact the Danbury Police Department at 797-4611 to report sidewalk parking. You may submit a service request for the UNIT to periodically check your area for sidewalk parking if it is a constant problem.

Please submit a service request to the UNIT to report an accumulation of garbage on a property, please indicate if the property is rented, if the homeowner lives there, of if it is abandoned in order to allow for a timelier response.

Please submit a service request to the UNIT and indicate where you suspect the illegal apartment is located (attic, basement, etc).

Please submit a service request to the UNIT and indicate, if possible, what time the debris was dumped. If you happen to have any additional information such as vehicle makes or license plate numbers, please also provide them.

Please submit a service request to the UNIT and indicate how long you suspect this has been going on for as well as the appropriate times for an inspection.

Please submit a service request to the UNIT and indicate what type of work is being done at the location and for how long.