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Residents ask for improved services from BG's Community Improvement Committee PDF Print E-mail
Written by HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor   
Thursday, 21 March 2013 09:02
A Clough Street resident Monday night told Bowling Green City Council's Community Improvement Committee a long-overlooked fine for an illegal stone parking space could help the city pay for additional code enforcement personnel.
The committee meeting was called to hear concerns of east side citizens and was attended by all seven council members.
David Donley said research had turned up a 1982 letter to the property owner requiring that the space be paved by 1983. Donley said the letter noted failure to comply could result in a fine up to $500 per day. Since the space has never been paved, Donley said the maximum fine as of Monday was $5.754 million. "With that money the city ought to be able to put on two or three people," he said.
Donley praised several city departments for their services, but claimed code enforcement efforts were often misdirected on things like a shed a few inches to close to a property line or swing sets that someone regarded as a building.
Donley suggested the city needs one phone number as a "clearing house" for questions and a 48-hour response time for issues, should contact residents in person or via phone before sending letters of violations. He also would like to see council members and department heads walk neighborhoods to "note and fix problems," identify the top 25 most troublesome properties, hire an ombudsman who at "some point needs to be the bad guy."
He also provided council with photos of four properties in his neighborhood he claims have illegal parking or driveways.
Also speaking were:
•    Dawn McCaghy, Williams Street, about the lack of a marked pedestrian walk between Mercer Road and College Drive. She suggested a crosswalk similar to those installed on Mercer Road at Alumni Drive and the BGSU Ice Arena.
•    Michael Stickles, North Grove Street, about crosswalks in general, including marking and enforcement. He called for less tree cutting and "figuring out a way to fund sidewalks."
•    Rose Hess, Baldwin Avenue, seeking data on property nuisance issues handled by the city and Wood County Health Department in recent years and a concern about dead trees on private property that affect neighboring properties and public safety.
•     Jan Veitch, Williams Street, questioning property aesthetics where signs on buildings clearly indicate a property is a rental. "To me this is a flashing notification that this property is a rental. This does not fit into a residential area. I assume it is legal. Revise the law to not allow it."
She also asked about an online list of "grandfathered properties" that was a 2010 ad hoc committee recommendation.
City Planning Director Heather Sayler said the project was "being diligently worked on" but would not be posted until complete. "What is complete is available to the public. Early summer is my goal to have it online," Sayler said.
•    Russ Veitch, Williams Street, questioned the wisdom of changes to the city's heavy item pickup schedule. He said residents have spent a lot of time telling renters about the policy, only to have it changed. At-Large Council Member Robert McOmber said council is aware of the concern and "we will be watching to see hot it works."
The session lasted 75 minutes.
 

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