Mayfield introduces ordinance to crack down on repeat nuisance code violations

Many of you work hard to keep up your property, so imagine living next to a unkept, vacant home. The city of Mayfield, Kentucky, wants to pass a new ordinance to crack down on property owners who continue to neglect homes in need of attention.  

Donna Allen has put energy and attention into her home for the last 41 years, but she can’t say the same for her neighbor.

"The grass grows up, and it just makes your house look bad when you have someone living next door to you like that," Allen said.

The home next door to her is of the 20 to 25 unkept properties the city is called about again and again.

"If nothing else, it deteriorates the property values here," said Mayfield City Councilman John Poole. 

Poole is involved in the city’s code enforcement, and says these properties are creating more problems.

"Kids obviously live over there. There’s childrens’ toys. There’s all kinds of things that would be dangerous here," Poole said.

Mayor Teresa Rochetti-Cantrell says that is why the city is introducing a new chronic nuisance ordinance. 

"One of the struggles that we’ve had is getting people to pay their fines. We didn’t really have a recourse," said Rochetti-Cantrell.

If it passes, a  property owner who violates the nuisance code three times within 90 days will be notified and must respond and fix the property within three days. If not, they can be charged with a class A misdemeanor.

"The penalties are stiffer. Maybe they’ll pay more attention when it becomes a class A misdemeanor," Rochetti-Cantrell said.

Allen says she sure hopes so.

"It’s depressing. You just wonder why people don’t keep their property up," Allen said.

Rochettti-Cantrell says all the owners of the vacant properties have been contacted by the city, but never responded. The ordinance will have its first reading at the city council meeting on Oct. 10 at Mayfield City Hall.  

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