Scottville will hold ordinance hearing

May 19, 2013

SCOTTVILLE — The Scottville Commission will hold a public hearing on its new city ordinance book Monday. The ordinance book was part of the city’s effort to update its ordinances, one of the top priorities in the city’s master plan and one of the top goals of the commissioners.

“Some changes were made that updated our ordinances or deleted some outdated ones,” City Manager Amy Williams said. “We need to pass an ordinance that will approve all those changes.”

City attorney Tracy Thompson will be at the meeting to answer questions. After the hearing the city commission will take action on the ordinance. If it approves it, the ordinance takes effect in 15 days.

The new ordinances will make enforcement of violators easier. The city staff has already been patrolling the city noting violators.

Every year the city enforces its lawn mowing ordinance. Williams said there is a long list of violators who have allowed their lawns to grow longer than the city’s ordinance allows, 6 inches.

“I’ve sent out two batches of notices,” Williams said, adding that three of the 15 have been addressed. A second batch of 13 went out the end of last week.

Williams said there are several homes in town with structure code violations. “These homes may need to be repainted or sided, may have broken windows and doors, structural/foundation issues, dilapidated/missing porches, etc. These are the homes that we have been hearing complaints about, but bringing them back into compliance isn’t as easy as us just going in and mowing the grass. Many of these homes are foreclosures and under a bank control, or they are rentals.

“What I would like from the commissioners is for them to look at the homes and make notes of where we go from here on each of them. Is a coat of paint enough or do they want more? We need to be consistent and fair throughout and all the time remembering some of these people don’t have a lot of money. I am working with some agencies to try to come up with some financial help in bringing them into compliance.

“If the owners chose to do nothing, we then need to decide what our next steps are as that would involve our city attorney and going to court at which time we take on the burden of those costs.”

Williams said she would like the commission to discuss the ordinance enforcement more at its June 3 meeting.

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