By Alton Mitchell
The city of LaFayette has gotten serious about getting property owners to comply with a local ordinance that requires the owners to maintain and manicure their properties on a regular basis. For the second time in the month of July the city council heard a list of complaints against properties that have fallen in default of ordinance 367.
Prior to Monday evenings city council meeting the council heard a public hearing as complaints were brought before the city concerning six properties around LaFayette that have become untidy mostly in the realm of overgrown grass, weeds, and vegetation. This summer the city council and police department have been issuing notices to owners of properties that have fallen outside the guidelines.
City Attorney Joseph M. Tucker led the public hearing with LaFayette Police Chief Benjamin Hill by his side. The duo called off the six properties in question that have become vastly overgrown with vegetation. Council members listened on as the violations were read off with their specific violations being cited.
The complaints were also listed with some corrective actions that property owners have taken to fix the violations. Some of the properties had been partially cut mostly in the front yard of the house, but other areas were still uncut which kept them in violation of ordinance 367.
Councilman David Ennis questioned if the notification that were being given to property owners also included a copy of the ordinance. Chief Hill explained that a copy of the ordinance itself was enclosed with the notification. That ordinance included the factors that stated the property must be cut in the front, back, and sides as well as having the shrubbery manicured as well.
Many of the past complaints have centered on residential properties however at Monday evening’s public hearing a commercial property was also found to be in violation. The carwash located on LaFayette Street South was suffering from overgrown weeds and grass. The owner of the property did not sign for the notification sent by LaFayette officials. Therefore Chief Hill states the property was posted on the premises two weeks ago. This is standard practice for any property that is not signed for by the owner.
This is the second such public hearing that LaFayette officials have held this month before a council meeting. Officials are working to get property owners in compliance with the ordinance. No actions have yet been stated on what the consequence will be for property owners who fail to comply with the notifications, but several have been discussed at prior meetings up to the point of the city coming to cut the properties and passing the bill off to the property owners.