Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Thursday, April 28, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 17

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6/4/2014 2:00:00 PM
Nobleboro Property Maintenance Ordinance on the Ballot June 10
By Dominik Lobkowicz


Nobleboro voters will have their say over a proposed property maintenance ordinance at referendum on Tuesday, June 10.

The listed purpose of the ordinance is "to set a minimum standard for the maintenance of the grounds of property, as seen from the public way, in order to protect Nobleboro residents from unsanitary, unsafe, and/or nuisance conditions."

The Nobleboro Planning Board developed the ordinance at the request of the selectmen, according to planning board Chair Jacob Oliver.

The proposed ordinance would require the grounds of any property to be kept free of "unsafe or unsanitary conditions," including household trash, junk, discarded plumbing, scrap metal, rags, batteries, scrap lumber, unused and inoperable appliances, discarded furniture, or more than two junked or unserviceable vehicles, among other things.

Items that are included in the list of materials but are deemed safe and sanitary and are intended for the owner's use could remain on the property, but would be required to be screened by objects such as embankments, buildings, fences, or other installations.

The proposed ordinance would also require property owners to "cause or contract for" the repair, restoration, or demolition and removal of any debris following any casualty damage to property or grounds.

As far as enforcement, the town's code enforcement officer would serve a written notice by either hand delivery or certified mail, explaining the nature of the violation and the process for appeal.

Stanley Waltz, the town's code enforcement officer, said previously he will try to let property owners know of a violation and give them time to address it before they are given an official notice of violation.

"People are going to get a chance before they get a notice," he said.

Violators would have 30 days after receiving an official notice to correct the issue, or a maximum of seven days for a health or safety violation as determined by the code enforcement officer. The officer would have the ability to grant one special extension per incident of up to 180 days for hardship or extenuating circumstances.

If any violations were not corrected within the time frame, the violator would be subject to between $100 and $2,500 in daily fines.

Violators would have the opportunity to appeal the code enforcement officer's decision to the Nobleboro Board of Selectmen.

The planning board sought balance in the ordinance that applies common sense to the issue, Selectman Harold "Bud" Lewis said previously, and if the code enforcement officer does not exercise common sense, the selectmen will have authority over the appeal process under the ordinance.

The ordinance would cover a lot of issues that fall through the cracks in state law, Waltz said previously.

The proposed ordinance is available for viewing under the planning board section of the town's website, http://www.nobleboro.maine.gov, or as a hard copy at the Nobleboro Town Office.

Polling hours to vote on the proposed ordinance will be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 10 at the Nobleboro Town Office.



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