City Staff Discusses Potential Changes to Nuisance Code

City staff made a presentation to city council during their weekly lunch discussion issues with violations of the city’s nuisance code and potential changes that council could make to help staff keep problems like trash strewn properties in check.

Staff showed during their presentation the breakdown of requests for service from the city regarding trash and weeds, revealing that Council Zone 1 is the runaway leader in calls. Since 2016, over 6800 calls for service have come in from zone 1, almost 2300 more than Zone 2, the next closest zone.

And in Zone 2, many of the complaints come from a single property on North Glenstone that is known to be a location where homeless are known to encamp.

Director of Building Development Services Harlan Hill told council that the average time between a filed complaint on trash and an inspection is 6 business days; it takes 45 days on average to be abated if voluntarily done by the landowner and 100 days if the city is forced to do it.

Weeds and overgrowth take about 30 days to be abated.

City staff is going to recommend two changes to city code to bring it in line with state laws. The first will reduce the height for grass to be in violation from 12 inches to 7 inches. The other would reduce the legal notice timeframe for grass and overgrowth from 15 days to 10 days, allowing for faster city response to fix issues.

City staff also wants to increase the contractors who can do abatement work into a pool of different companies that would allow for faster response to problems.

The council was also to be presented information on dangerous buildings but ran out of time in the lunch meeting to discuss it. The discussion on dangerous buildings will take place at the next scheduled city council lunch.

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