AUBURN — Residents are not big fans of a citywide property maintenance code, according to an emailed survey.
Councilors are scheduled to discuss creating a code that could require residents to maintain their homes and property or face city fines or penalties. The discussion is the first item on their 5:30 p.m. workshop agenda Monday night.
Economic Development Director Roland Miller said the idea has been controversial in the past and that's why the city performed an Internet survey this year.
The city considered creating a property maintenance code between 1998 and 2002, but councilors then tabled the idea.
"The recommendation in the past has been not to move forward, but we have a new set of councilors now who don't have that history," Miller said. "So we want to bring that history before them and see where they want to go."
The city has various ordinances now that deal with accumulated trash or debris, a lack of heat, health and safety hazards, and keeping multiple unregistered vehicles. It does not have standards that require lawns be mowed and weeded, or rules that require paint, siding or windows be maintained or replaced.
"We need to have a discussion about how existing codes function and how property maintenance codes function and the issues around them," Miller said.
The city put out the eight-question survey this summer to find out if residents had noticed properties that lacked maintenance and whether they favored new city rules.
Out of 82 responses, most were against property maintenance rules: 47 out of 82 were against regulating lawn height, and 55 were against paint or siding rules. When asked what kind of property should be regulated — rentals, commercial properties, residential properties or foreclosures — a 38 percent majority selected "None of the above."
"This is the same reaction we received from the public when we've talked about it in the past," Miller said. "We didn't have an Internet survey available at that time, but we did reach out to landlord's associations and neighborhood groups and into the community. So that's the kind of discussion we want to have with councilors."