Havelock approves minimum building maintenance standards

Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 06:51 PM.

Chase, who recently took a new job in the private sector, came back to make a formal presentation to the board during Monday’s meeting. Commissioners requested new rules because of what they said were deteriorating structures that were causing hazards in the community and contributing to a decline in real estate values.

"Whatever we do is better than where we are," Mayor Jimmy Sanders said. "We’ve got a problem that needs to be addressed."

The new rules define varying degrees of concern that would prompt planning department members to write letters to property owners demanding that repairs be done within 30 days. Offending conditions ranged from high grass and weeds to aesthetic issues such as peeling paint and cleanliness to, at worst, actual structural issues or rodent infestations.

Property owners who fail to take corrective actions could ultimately be faced with liens on their property if the city is forced to pay for the repairs.

The new rules cover those in the city limits as well as those in the city’s extra territorial jurisdiction, that one-mile circle surrounding the city in which residents pay no taxes but are subject to city regulations.

However, Sanders questioned why the ETJ should be included in the new rules.

"With the changes that were made to annexation laws, why would you include the ETJ," Sanders asked. "Does it still make sense today for us to expend one dollar of city funds on ETJ that the state has said you can’t have?"

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