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Thread: Property maintenance / appearance based zoning regulations

  1. #1
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Feb 2002
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    Michigan
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    Property maintenance / appearance based zoning regulations

    The City has our zoning ordinance and has adopted the International Property Maintenance Code, but it seems that our City Council (or at least a few of them) want to see more teeth to requiring upkeep to a property. We already cover parking in the front lawn, motor vehicle repair only in a garage, lawn height, etc., but they are irritated by what they consider junk - porches and lawns filled with furniture, toys, etc.

    I'm not looking at form based zoning, but rather property maintenance type of codes. What in particular do they want to see, we are not sure. I don't know that you can regulate pride of ownership (unfortunately!).

    Does anyone have any particular ordinance that deals with the appearance of the property that is not directly related to public health, safety, and welfare of the community?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Nov 2002
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    Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve
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    Re: Property maintenance / appearance based zoning regulations

    Quote Originally posted by SW MI Planner
    Does anyone have any particular ordinance that deals with the appearance of the property that is not directly related to public health, safety, and welfare of the community?
    I think what they want to acheive is best done through private convenants. The phrase
    ....not directly related to public health, safety and welfare of the community.
    throws up lots of red flags for me.
    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
    - - Guy Clark, "The Cape"

  3. #3
    Cyburbian iamme's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
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    Milwaukee
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    484

    Re: Property maintenance / appearance based zoning regulations

    Quote Originally posted by SW MI Planner
    The City has our zoning ordinance and has adopted the International Property Maintenance Code, but it seems that our City Council (or at least a few of them) want to see more teeth to requiring upkeep to a property. We already cover parking in the front lawn, motor vehicle repair only in a garage, lawn height, etc., but they are irritated by what they consider junk - porches and lawns filled with furniture, toys, etc.

    I'm not looking at form based zoning, but rather property maintenance type of codes. What in particular do they want to see, we are not sure. I don't know that you can regulate pride of ownership (unfortunately!).

    Does anyone have any particular ordinance that deals with the appearance of the property that is not directly related to public health, safety, and welfare of the community?
    Milwaukee, WI enacted an ordinance in 2001 to address this issue. Even before Milwaukee I've been told that Wilson, NC has enacted a similiar ordinance.

    As far as the Milwaukee ordinance, the idea was to prevent outdoor junk like indoor furniture or appliances from being stored on porches or on the property(outside of course). I believe the language of the ordinance refers to eliminating potential nesting sites for rodents, insects, and other animals and to eliminate potential fuel for fires.

    Good luck

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