Not House Beautiful

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The Lamar city council recently addressed the steady problem of code violations in town, and how to effectively deal with them. The violations range from tall weeds on a property, too many dogs at a residence, junked and derelict vehicles and accumulated refuse within the city limits. The officers note the problems and inform the residents that a clean up is necessary. The media get the daily police reports and between one-third and one half of the daily calls deal with nuisances ranging from loud music, loose dogs in a neighborhood, or properties that look like they’re part of a junkyard.

When notified, the property owners are currently given as many as 90 days to comply with a ‘mow your yard’ order and can be subject to a $300 fine for non-compliance, plus the cost of having the city clean up the grounds. The council is seeking ways to shorten the time limitations and amend ordinances to contain some ‘teeth’, as it was termed during a council work session.

Some properties have been abandoned, which brings additional problems into the equation. How to enforce an ordinance and levy a fine against an out-of-state or absent landlord or land owner? Some structures should be marked for demolition, but asbestos abatement can run as much as $7,000 per average property, and the city doesn’t have the funding to properly treat as many as 63 abandoned houses in Lamar. In the meantime, these are some of the samples of code violations around our neighborhoods.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: BusinessCitycommunityEconomyFeaturedLamarLaw EnforcementPolice ReportsPublic Safety


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