Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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New Livingston Codes Address Nuisance Properties

New property maintenance codes in Livingston would prevent overgrown weeds and debris from accumulating on residential properties.

Hayden White of Envision Livingston presented the amended codes during Livingston’s City Council meeting this week, which would allow residents to report nuisance vegetation and animals.

“We’ve added the unlawful accumulation of debris that can be blown over to a neighbor’s yard,” White said. “We’ve added the stance that it is declared unlawful and a nuisance to permit weeds, trees, vegetation, and animals that is injurious and offensive to the comfort and safety of the public.”

White said the group has also amended how nuisance properties are handled by the city, including extra days to be within compliance and allowing a privately-contracted health officer. White noted during the meeting that the current health officer is Livingston Police Chief Greg Etheredge.

“It says that if the property owner does not meet compliance, the health officer can take necessary steps, which means if [the owner] do not do what is presented to them, the health officer then has the right to go on and have that property meet compliance,” White said. “After the health officer has done that, the property owner has 30 days to pay [for cleanup]. In this code, we put in the 30-day grace period after the cleanup has been performed.”

The amended codes also allow property owners 15 days instead of the previous 10 to meet compliance before being charged by the city for cleanup.

Alderman Kelly Coleman voted in favor of the amendment, saying some residents have come to him about nuisance properties within the city.

“I’ve received a complaint [from] a citizen in one of the local neighborhoods. Their neighbor is herding livestock in their yard, and the smell is a nuisance to them,” Coleman said. “I think this is exactly the type of thing this ordinance is going to address. It’s going to come before the [advisory] board, and this new board is going to have to decide what are they going to do about it.”

Livingston’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen passed an ordinance last month seeking to eliminate untagged junk motor vehicles from private and public property.

The first reading passed Monday night 4-2 with Aldermen Ronald Dishman and David Langford voting against the motion.

The second reading of the ordinance adopting the code amendments will take place during the Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s next meeting March 4. A public hearing regarding the code amendments will take place the same day at 5:30 p.m. prior to the board meeting.