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Mayor suggests litter ordinance

Mayor Les Bumgarner presented a potential new city ordinanceTuesday night that would further strengthen the city’s ability toenforce codes violations on litter, refuse and health andsafety.

“This is basically to promote a clean, healthy, safe and attractiveenvironment to live in,” he told the board.

The ordinance regulates all litter and trash, which it saysincludes but is not limited to paper, bottles, cans, glass,crockery, plastic, rubber, waste building materials, disposablepackages and containers, white goods, untagged vehicles, boats,recreational vehicles, pull trailers, lawn mowers, overgrown lots,water heaters, small auto parts, tires, furniture, trash or anyother matter which tends to create a hazard to public health,safety and welfare.

The ordinance states that people need to dispose of their garbagein ways set out by law, or city officials and private citizens areboth free to file a sworn affidavit in city court to be takenagainst any party in violation.

Failure to comply with those notices, the ordinance says, will befined $50 on the first offense. The second offense carries a$50-$250 fine, and further offenses will include fines between$250-$500, as well as possible community service and jailtime.

“This should educate people to do what they’re asked to do,”Bumgarner said. “It may also put pressure on some of theselandowners that live out of town to sell to someone who lives inBrookhaven and will take care of it.”

The ordinance also puts the burden of upkeeping a rental propertyon the renter instead of the property owner.

“This way if you litter it up, it’s your responsibility, not theowner,” the mayor said.

Meanwhile, Ward Six Alderman David Phillips presented suggestionsfor the ongoing problem of outbuildings and accessory structures,which are currently under a moratorium until some regulation can beagreed upon.

Phillips said the size of the building should be regulatedregardless of lot size, as currently the building size and theproperty size are tied together. He pointed out that underconstraints in place now, the owner of a three-acre lot couldpotentially build a 35,000 square foot accessory building.

He suggested a good size would be 2,000 square feet, which seemedto incense Ward Five Alderman D.W. Maxwell.

“This is getting ridiculous, David,” he said. “The people who didthe percentages had it figured out, and we need to leave italone.”

Phillips said that he was simply applying numbers that seemedsensible because with the current moratorium, people can’t buildoutbuildings anyway.

“This is here for discussion, and to give people who sell and wantto build accessory buildings an answer,” Phillips said.

Maxwell then divulged that he is in the midst of planning a 2,400square foot, two-story accessory building. Ward Four AldermanShirley Estes asked if perhaps the 2,000 foot guideline shouldapply to the footprint of the building instead.

“Well, that’s something I didn’t address,” Phillips said. “Mostpeople don’t have a two-story accessory building. They’re usuallymodular buildings. I’d call that a guest house.”

Phillips asked aldermen to simply look over the possible guidelinesand call him with opinions and suggestions, but Maxwell was notthrough voicing his opposition.

“That’s a hard one to chew on,” he said.