P.C. to take up nuisance ordinance

PANAMA CITY — The Panama City Commission is set to consider cracking down on owners of properties where law enforcement officers are routinely dispatched.

If approved, the ordinance would declare a chronic nuisance if the city’s law enforcement officers are required to respond to a location five or more times over a 30-day period. It also would allow a chronic nuisance to be declared for “the existence of circumstances upon properties … that is annoying to neighbors, the neighborhood and the community that is injurious to the health of citizens in general or that corrupts public morals.”

Commissioner John Kady requested the ordinance be added to the agenda for Tuesday’s 5 p.m. City Commission meeting after the agenda was created. It is expected to be included in an addendum distributed Monday. He could not be reached for comment Friday.

The ordinance refers to the city’s existing regulations on nuisances for abatement. When a notice is given, property owners or those who are leasing the property will be given a time frame to comply.

The ordinance states “upon the owner’s failure to comply with the notice, the city may vacate, demolish, or remove or otherwise abate the nuisance in accordance with the order stated in the notice.” The cost would be recouped from the property owner through a lien on the property.

The existing nuisance code includes primarily issues like trash, weeds, smells and pollution, but it does classify as a nuisance locations “where any activity which is in violation of local, state or federal law is conducted, performed or maintained.”

The ordinance is based on the “broken windows” theory that crime will go down if urban environments are monitored and maintained.

This new ordinance gives the city legal leverage to shut down the rescue mission. The rescue mission has exceeded these defined levels every month for the past three years.

Read more: http://www.newsherald.com/articles/city-101069-nuisance-ordinance.html#ixzz1oqkS1585

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