Board to be asked to draft property maintenance ordinance

LIVERMORE FALLS — The chairman of the Board of Selectmen directed the town’s code enforcement officer Monday to have the Planning Board put together an ordinance that would put guidelines on what people can have in their yards.

Town Manager Kristal Flagg told selectmen she has had several complaints on garbage, mattresses and tires among other items piled in front of people’s yards.

The state has an ordinance on junkyards, and there are guidelines on health issues. But there are no ordinances dealing with items in people’s yards, she said.

Flagg said she talked to Code Enforcement Officer James Butler Jr. about the issue.

There are some guidelines on restrictions, and the town could choose the parts it wants to include in its ordinance, she said. She said the ordinance could cover certain areas of the town, including downtown.

She said that the town of Old Orchard Beach has such an ordinance. Butler is the code officer in that town, too. It also restricts the height grass can be in a yard, but Flagg didn’t think that would be something would fit Livermore Falls.

Butler feels it is a long, drawn-out process to take someone to court over yard-maintenance issues without having an ordinance, she said. If there was an ordinance, she said, police could enforce violations of the rules.

“You can be as restrictive as you want,” Flagg said.

There is an international maintenance code that has several parts to it, and the town could choose what it wants to put in the ordinance and enforce, Butler said. One ordinance, he said, allows only one unregistered vehicle in a yard, which is stricter than the state rules.

There is nothing in Livermore Falls that governs garbage, he said.

The state junkyard ordinance covers vehicles and car parts, he said.

“It’s awful hard to get an ordinance,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Bill Demaray said of the town’s history of not wanting ordinances.

People complain that they pay taxes and should be able to do what they want with their property, Flagg said. On the other hand, neighbors who have to smell it  don’t want to put up with it.

Demaray said when he is working in his yard he usually puts stuff in his garage. It may be a couple of weeks before he gets to take it to the transfer station, which is only open three days a week.

It has to be a happy medium, he and Flagg said.

You have to be careful that it doesn’t restrict property owners who are trying to improve their property, Demaray said.

He wishes the town had an ordinance that addresses yard sales and people putting up signs on utility poles and never taking them down, he said.

But you also cannot be too restrictive, he added.

Butler said the Planning Board is working on a sign ordinance.

It’s past time the town has an ordinance on property maintenance, Selectman Louise Chabot said. She would like to see an ordinance that provides guidelines from the Jay line to Shuy Corner at the intersection of Routes 17 and 133 and Foundry Road, she said.

Butler said he has been working on a “hit list” he, Flagg and highway foreman Bill Nichols put together on junkyard compliance. About 40 percent of the cases have voluntarily complied with the town’s request, he said.

Butler was asked to draft an ordinance that would go to public hearing and then to voters.

dperry@sunjournal.com

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on SunJournal.com, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your SunJournal.com profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.

Advertisement

Comments

Randall Pond's picture

And you Wonder Why

Livermore Falls Died in the 1980's. Small Minded People Whining!]

Seriously People, if you're going to have a Trash Ordinance, Don't Charge someone so darn much to properly Dispose of things and have your Transfer Station open five days a week like normal cities and towns do.

You could also have Curb Side Pick up of Unwanted Items. Lewiston and Auburn do this once a year. It's Called Spring cleanup.

CAROL PARKER's picture

Agreed, the fees charged at

Agreed, the fees charged at the dump tend to make people not want to bring stuff there. Even if they don't do a spring cleanup day, they could at least come up with one or two times a year that they waive the disposal fees on things to make it easier for low income citizens to properly dispose of items as opposed to piling them in their yard or worse yet chucking them out in the woods.

Ken Perry's picture

JOKE?

Its time to start voting this bunch out! The town does not even weed whack in front of the Town Garage, but they want to tell us how to live? This is rural Maine not Boston.
Next it will be you will have to paint your house a certain time and an approved color.
And the paper should start posting the names of the people or person who is "complaining" to the Town.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Next thing you know.......

Here they go, next thing you know, their going to have everyone join "Neighborhood Associations". You'll be paying dues, and you'll have to ask permission to paint your house a certain color. Then of course, some one will come along who finds boats and pick-up trucks an eye sore. They'll be gone.
These thing already happen, I've seen it. Years ago there was this guy in Braintree MA, who was denied permission to paint his house a certain color, I remember it went through the courts and everything. He lost on every level. As a final kick in the face of the neighborhood assc, in accordance with their strict guidelines, he painted his house "plaid". Then he put the house up for sale. The pick-up bylaw also happened in MA, I can't remember where. It also happened in California. Thats where these idiots got the idea. Have fun with your ordinance.....

Norman Mitchell's picture

Junk

This is the kind of stuff people from away bring to Maine This is the slippery slope the path to unintended consequences to take away our freedom and if this law is past I would like to remind all the people in Livermore Falls as well as the town officials the new law will have no effect on any existing problem locations in the town as maybe you have heard Ex post facto laws are expressly forbidden by the United States Constitution. also called a retroactive law, a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of actions that were committed, before the enactment of the law. there already safety and health laws also laws to govern junkyards and automobile graveyards so dont waste the town government or the taxpayers money I would think the town government would have real issues they could work on

CAROL PARKER's picture

Ordinance?

I understand wanting the town to look good, but if we create an ordinance for this then we are opening up a whole can of worms that I don't think anyone in town wants. Like selectman Demaray says about the signs left on telephone poles, I would like to see fireworks banned in the village area. However, just because that is my belief, it does not mean the townspeople would agree with me or want my will imposed on them. Live and let live unless it is a safety or health concern at which point it should be addressed on an individual basis. I'm not interested in paying taxes on property which I'm heavily regulated on how i can use it.

Advertisement

Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...