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City council agrees to pursue ordinance to repeal its code enforcement board

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 — Near the end of Tuesday’s Bardstown City Council meeting, Tim Butler, city attorney, opened up discussion regarding the city’s code enforcement board.

Three of the board’s members did not wish to be re-appointed, meaning the board can longer meet due to a lack of a quorum. The board’s last meeting was Thursday, April 7, 2017.

Butler said if the city wishes to reactivate the board, changes in state law will require some changes to the ordinance governing the board and its processes.

City Attorney Tim Butler speaks at an earlier Bardstown City Council meeting. (NCG file photo)

Butler said during the time the board was operating, he had concerns with how the enforcement board was operating, and if due process was being given to property owners who were targeted for enforcement.

He was also concerned about the board operating in accordance with state law “and that it was completely fair and above board.”

After discussing the issue with the Kentucky League of Cities, KLC recommended the city take up its code enforcement ordinance for possible revisions.

Butler said the city’s current enforcement officer has been effective getting voluntary compliance when issues arise.

The public’s perception of the code enforcement board was that the board’s actions were intended to punish violators of city codes.

“It was seen as punitive and not really achieving the goal, which is compliance,” he said.

“We were assessing fees and fines and not getting compliance,” he said. The city has shifted its focus on working to get property owners to voluntarily comply.

“Amazingly enough, we haven’t needed the code enforcement board,” he said.

Butler said he recommended following the KLC’s suggestion of repealing the city’s code enforcement board ordinance for various issues, including concerns about due process. Repealing the ordinance governing the board would allow the city to revise the ordinance and then move forward to reconstitute the board if the city believes it is necessary to do so.

By repealing the ordinance, the city still keeps its ability to enforce its codes through the legal system if it was necessary to go that route, Butler explained.

There was no vote on the issue, but the council was supportive of Butler drafting an ordinance to repeal parts of the city ordinance dealing with the city code enforcement board.

CODE ENFORCEMENT MEETING VIDEO. 

VIDEO: Code Enforcement Board meeting, Aug. 4, 2016

VIDEO: Code Enforcement Board meeting, April 7, 2017

 

 

 

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