Chipley City Council discusses code enforcement

Published: Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 07:50 PM.

“Look at the codes and see if there is anything we can do to reduce debris or dilapidated houses,” Miner said.

The mayor said the legal process of hunting down property owners and sending them letters takes too long to do anything about cleaning up neglected properties.

“It’s a matter of due diligence,” Miner said. “There is a legal process we have to follow, and it does take some time.”

The city has to find the abandoned or neglected property owners, and notify them of the problem. Then if nothing is done, the city can seek citations, fines and liens. But the process is time consuming.

Miner said that as generations pass, properties change from homes to rental properties, and often the pride of ownership and care of lawns and homes falls to the wayside. “Often the kids have moved off to Illinois or who knows where, and it’s just a rental property to them. There’s no upkeep on the properties,” Miner said.

For abandoned properties, if the city decides to tear them down, they have to bear the expense of tearing down the property and clearing the lot, money that will most likely never be returned to the city.

When the topic turned to the artificial flowers, Pettis said that the aesthetic appeal of artificial flowers were a matter of opinion, not a subject of code. “What if I don’t like azalea bushes?” Pettis asked the mayor. “Should we write a code saying no one can have azalea bushes?”

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