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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Property code passes 2nd test; 'bound to create controversy'

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Storm Lake City Council held the second reading of its new property maintenance code proposal Monday, with no change in council opinion and no public protest.

It would become effective after three readings.

The code has been broken down into three different sections, one for property maintenance, one regulating residential parking standards and one specifying standards on peeling paint.

As they did in a first reading at a November council meeting, all three parts passes on a split vote.

As before, the first section passed 4-1 with Wally Burns opposed. The second and third parts passed 3-2 with "nays" from Julie Egland and Burns.

"I have received more calls about this than any other issue over my eight years on the council and this affirms my reasoning to vote against the painting and residential parking," Council member Egland said.

Mayor Jon Kruse noted that such an issue relating to people's personal property is bound to create some controversy.

"This is a complex issue which creates controversy and there will always be those who are against this when you force people to do something," Kruse said.

Council member Denny Vaudt said he has received public input in support of the code.

"For years I have received comments that we need to do something and now we are," Vaudt said.

The council decided to push the issue to a vote before Burns and Egland wleave office and are replaced by newly-elected members at the end of the year.

After about two years of discussion, they hoped to prevent having to backtrack and begin planning an ordinanace over again.

The third and final reading is set for December 17 which will be the final city council meeting of the year.

David Walker and Steven O'Bannon will be replacing both Egland and Burns at the next meeting. Sara Monroy-Huddleston was the only incumbent to run and retains her seat.

"The Purpose of this Code is to protect the public health, safety and welfare, aesthetics and property values, by establishing minimum standards," a draft of the proposed new ordinance explains.

It is intended to make certain residential properties are fit for human occupation, and non-residential properties fit for their intended use, including provision of essential utilities.

The rules provide for "proper repair, demolition, or vacation of premises which do not comply with this Code," a preliminary draft stated.

Recently-retired former Storm Lake Police Captain Bob Swanson has already been named as a code enforcement officer for the city.

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