Wednesday, August 25, 2010
GRANDVIEW - The Grandview City Council handed its staff a new tool to address nuisances in town.
Tuesday night's action approved a new ordinance that authorized staff to levy fines for non-compliance with city codes.
Cory Taylor is the city's building official, and he told council last night the goal isn't to raise revenues through fines, but for compliance with city codes.
Those violating Grandview's city code, whether it be overgrown weeds, junk vehicles, or trash littering a property, will now essentially face a three-step process.
Taylor said the first step is a notice to comply within 10 days or face a $200 fine. If there is no relief, then a second notice is given allowing 14 days to comply or receiving an additional $500 fine.
If the fines don't work, then Taylor said the city would have the option of issuing a criminal citation that could result in up to 90 days in jail.
"It allows a lot of different options," he said.
City Attorney Jack Maxwell noted the city's previous strategy was to proceed with a criminal citation right away, then dismiss it if the property came into compliance with city code.
That process was lengthy. Now, Maxwell says the policy will allow staff to take a streamlined approach with the hefty fines serving as incentive to get properties cleaned up.
The new ordinance also contains language that allows staff to go after the tenants who cause a nuisance.
Previously Grandview's only recourse was to attempt to contact the landlord.
Maxwell said at the next meeting in September all of the city's codes will be presented to council for revision so they fall in line with the tougher ordinance.