UPDATE: Marietta Mayor Won't Sign Off On Property Code

By: Danielle Staub, James Sparvero Email
By: Danielle Staub, James Sparvero Email
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UPDATE 2/21/2014 5:00 PM

It's about making sure everything from homes to storefronts don't fall apart.

The Marietta property maintenance code passed Thursday's city council vote but Friday, the mayor said he won't sign off on it.

No signature from Mayor Matthews would set the property maintenance code back another two weeks until the March 6th council meeting.

6 of 7 council members would have to re-approve the ordinance, thus bypassing his office.

The city property maintenance code regulates up-keeping land and property, like keeping grass from above a foot high, according to city council members, and getting junk cars out of the yard.

Mayor Mathews says while he supports keeping the city beautiful, the ordinance should be modified to better reflect Marietta.

"We have an aging population in Marietta. A lot of these people if they get cited, they will not be able to pay their citations and their fines with this," the mayor says. "What we're adding with the property maintenance code is just another level of bureaucratics to cause people not to want to come to Marietta."

The mayor says that if his recommendations don't make their way onto a revised property maintenance code, he feels it's unlikely 6 of 7 council members will vote in support at the next meeting, and that means the ordinance won't be going into affect in the following 30 days.

Four of 7 city council members voted to pass the ordinance Thursday night.


UPDATE 2/21/2014 9:35 AM

Thursday was the third reading of the Marietta property maintenance code.

Multiple community members spoke for and against the issue.

Mayor Matthews asked for it to be tabled at the beginning, which it was.

Eventually it made its way back to the table and then to a vote.

Those pushing the issue stressed safety, keeping the buildings beautiful and investing in Marietta's future.

"To me the property maintenance code is about taking pride in your property, being a good neighbor and taking responsibility of keeping your property in a safe and very good condition," said one resident.

"Anyone that can afford to maintain a property and doesn't should be held accountable for that. But let's not penalize the whole community for the sake of wanted to punish a few," said another resident.

There are concerns that a lot of people haven't actually read the code in it's entirety.

Some say this will not only hurt those living here on fixed incomes, but also in bringing new business to the area.

The code enforcement will go into place in 30 days.

Right now the Marietta Police Department is enforcing it; however, that may only be until a code enforcer or a group of code enforcers are appointed.


UPDATE 2/20/2014 4:55 PM

Every homeowner in Marietta - this affects you

The third reading of the property maintenance code is Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

This includes rules and regulations on cutting grass, paint on houses, junk cars and more.

The code itself already passed but council will make the decision on enforcement Thursday night.

The Marietta Police Department may be given that responsibility.

The meeting is open to the public.


UPDATE 2/18/2014 4:45 PM

Expecting some serious feedback from people in Marietta about what could become the new city code.

The code itself has passed.

What does this mean for your private property?

A meeting Tuesday afternoon brought many concerns to light from council members and the community.

A heated discussion about what this property maintenance code actually means.

Are they giving people enough warning before straight fining them?

Is one neighbor just going to file a complaint on another because they don't like them?

The councilman heading up the issue, Roger Kalter, says no.

It will be a complaint driven system and a transparent one.

He says the process will be ongoing and the document can be edited.

They are trying to help the city but there are concerns they are actually hurting people living here and possible new businesses.

"My example was you could go down any street in the City of Marietta now and if the snow isn't removed from the sidewalk, Knock on the door and issue a $150 ticket," says Councilman Mike McCauley.

"The statement has been made that we have good people in office now, but there is no assurance that we will also have good people, and we have implemented a system where by it could easily be abused," says resident Jon Eells.

The committee discussed today, the possibility of the enforcement coming through the Marietta Police Department. They will have to be trained on the regulations of the new law.

Although the code itself has passed, the third and final reading for the code enforcement is supposed to be this Thursday during the city council meeting at 7:30 at Lookout Park.


UPDATE 11/13/2013 5:05 PM

All of Marietta City Council is on board.

They agree on introducing legislation for a department for property maintenance code in Marietta and a code enforcer.

There has been a lot of discussion over the past couple of months but it is moving forward.

This will help with the upkeep of structures - residential or commercial - throughout the city.

City Councilman Roger Kalter says on top of updating the old code, for the first time Marietta will have a way to enforce it.

The first time you are found in violation it will be a minor misdemeanor with a fine of $150.

"Buildings that are dropping pieces off of them are a threat or a danger to either kids, adults or tourists, so we can start kinda cleaning up this incredibly beautiful and historic city," says Kalter.

Kalter says they plan to hire someone part time for 29 hours a week to enforce this code starting in January.
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City Council says yes. The property maintenance code in Marietta starts soon.

City Councilman Roger Kalter says the house on the corner of Wayne Street and South Sixth Street is the perfect example.

A house and property that has been let go and abandoned. Right now there are no consequences.

Last night City Council updated a 15 year old code and by January first. Kalter says he wants to have a code enforcement plan and team in place.

"So we have a person that can enforce the city's code, because that has not happened in 15 years. This person would need to be consistent, fair but firm. We want to find somebody that really understands the quality of life in a community, and would then be able to enforce the codes where there is serious safety and health issues

Local rental property company, Mitcham Group was at the meeting Monday night with questions.

They gave this statement today about the topic.

"As indicated via telephone, we here at Mitcham Group, have no problems with updating the 1998 code with the 2012 International Property Maintenance Code. Our goal is always to provide safe, clean, affordable housing and we welcome regulations that support this goal. We are, however, more interested in how it will be enforced. We are hopeful that City Council will use this as an opportunity to work with landlords in Marietta who are trying to provide nice housing," said Wendy Myers of Mitcham Group.


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