Borough residents could find themselves facing a fine if their property is affecting the quality of life in Monaca.
Council later this month will consider a “Quality of Life” ordinance that would eliminate a visit to the district judge’s office for overgrown yards and piles of unwelcome garbage. The ordinance, which is slated to be voted on at the Oct. 23 council meeting, would enable the borough’s neighborhood services officer to mail a ticket and notice of a fine to any property owner who violates the property maintenance code.
“It gives the neighborhood services officer a way to faster respond to nuisance issues,” said council Vice President Chris Shotter. “Rather than waiting a month (for a hearing,) we can try get to get the issue resolved faster.”
Tickets would be issued to properties with overgrown lawns, a build-up of garbage or discarded construction equipment, among other property code violations, Shotter said.
Currently, the neighborhood services officer issues a citation through the district judge’s office and has to wait for a hearing to be scheduled before being able to enforce the property maintenance code. The proposed change delays involving the courts, Shotter said.
The ordinance would enable the officer to issue a warning to the property owner. After seven days, if the violation isn’t rectified, the officer would issue a $25 fine for a first offense. A second violation within 12 months would result in a $50 ticket, $100 for the third violation and $300 for the fourth.
“What we found was there are so many tickets going through the magistrate that it couldn’t be done in a timely manner,” Shotter said. “This will let us deal with the complaints being brought through the office in more timely manner.”