2011-09-10 / News

Maintenance code concerns focus on complaint process

By Charles Prince


Hebron Mayor Clifford L. Mason, standing, answers some questions at the village’s first public forum on the proposed exterior property maintenance code. Beacon photo by Charles Prince. Hebron Mayor Clifford L. Mason, standing, answers some questions at the village’s first public forum on the proposed exterior property maintenance code. Beacon photo by Charles Prince. HEBRON – Nearly three dozen residents turned out for the August 29 Open House on the Village of Hebron’s proposed exterior property maintenance code.

“I’m very impressed with the turnout,” Hebron Mayor Clifford L. Mason said. “We appreciate your interest.”

He said village officials and the Planning and Zoning Board had been working on the code for several years. “It will help us a village maintain a nice community,” Mason explained. “This is what we would like our community to look like.”

“We want the town to look better,” Planning and Zoning chair Bill Wright said. “We’re not singling anyone out. We’re not out to get you.”

Board member Rick Orr added, “This is definitely an open book. It is obvious issues that we’re after. We don’t want your property to affect your neighbor or our neighbor’s property to affect your property.”

Several residents asked how the proposed code would work.

“It is complaint driven,” Mason said. “We’re not driving around trying to find these things. We want to help.”

In response to another question, Community Development coordinator Andi Myers said property owners are responsible for their tenants. If the new code is adopted by village council, it will also change the standard for ve- hicles parked outside. Currently, if a vehicle has a valid license it can be parked outside regardless of its condition. Under the new code, it must have a valid license and be operational. that means junk vehicles couldn’t be parked outside for just the cost of a license plate.

“Making complaints is not safe,” one resident said. After learning that the village plans to record complaints on a form, another asked if the complainant’s name had to be the form.

A number of residents were clearly concerned about possible retaliation if a neighbor discovered that they made the complaint. On the other hand, village officials said their focus in handling complaints was to prevent someone harassing someone else with anonymous complaints.

“This is not done,” Mason assured residents. He promised to check with the village solicitor to see whether the complainant’s name had to be on the form.

Myers was asked how many complaints she currently gets. She estimated some 10-15 in the past six months.

“We’re trying to help the neighbor who is exposed to this on a regular basis,” Mason said. “I firmly believe we will host another public meeting.” He also said that once the Planning & Zoning Board favorably recommends a version to council that it would be heard a total of three times over a six-week period before council members actually take a vote to adopt or reject it.

Copies of the draft were distributed to everyone at the meeting and Myers said it was also available on the village’s website at www.hebronvillage.com. Residents were encouraged to call Myers at (740) 928-0076 or email her at hebroncdc@midohio.twcbc.com with any additional questions or comments.

Enforcement is based on issuance of written Notice of Violation if a complaint is determined valid. The Notice sets a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 30 days, for the issue to be resolved. Notices can be appealed to the Planning & Zoning Board which will have the authority to “sustain, modify, or dismiss, in whole or in part any action required to correct or abate the violation…”

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