Hobart resident complaints to forge new property maintenance ordinance

2013-09-17T23:00:00Z 2013-11-29T14:42:11Z Hobart resident complaints to forge new property maintenance ordinanceDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | A top five list of residents' complaints compiled by the city will be made part of a new property maintenance ordinance the City Council is considering.

Residents have complained about tall grass and weeds, junk cars, boats and trailers, blue tarps on roofs, unkempt houses and unkempt yards, City Attorney Anthony DeBonis said.

The council agreed the present building coded need to be clearer about maintenance of home sites.

"The consensus is the lines are too blurry in our building code. We need something that pertains to the outside of the house and how to maintain it," City Councilman David Vinzant, D-4th said.

Vinzant provided copies of property maintenance ordinances from other communities, including Portage, Crown Point and Evansville.

"Portage is going a good job," Vinzant said.

City Councilman Matt Claussen, D-at-large, agreed the ordinance Portage adopted seems to be the best and one to be used as a model.

DeBonis will rework the city's building code to make it clearer and to include the top five complaints.

The new ordinance would then be brought back to the City Council for its approval, DeBonis said.

Claussen and other council members also discussed how city employees would fine or ticket residents not in compliance.

"I'd like to have guidelines rather than too specific of regulations," Claussen said.

Claussen said he'd like to give residents the opportunity to pay fines without going to court such as the issuance of tickets or citations.

DeBonis suggested if there were enough cases a hearing officer could be appointed.

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