Home Upkeep Law Studied

The City Council has directed city staff to draft a property maintenance ordinance requiring residents to care for their homes and yards through regular upkeep and repairs.

The council took the action Monday after receiving a petition from residents who said they are concerned about the deteriorating conditions of various neighborhoods.

Jack Dyer, a 34-year resident, presented the council with a petition signed by 75 residents, asking the council to adopt a property maintenance ordinance “in order for us to maintain our pride in our city.”

Among other recommendations, the petition suggested that residents be required to regularly water and trim their lawns, park cars in a garages or designated areas and complete remodeling work in a timely manner.


Most homes in the city were built in the early 1950s, and many are beginning to deteriorate, said Sam Engel, an administrative analyst who oversees code enforcements in the city. Some houses need paint, and others have overgrown yards, he said.

“At this point in time, there is no real enforcement authority” to require residents to maintain their homes, Engel said.

A draft of the ordinance will be presented to the council in May, Engel said. The proposed ordinance will include fines that may total $100 or more per violation, he said.