LIVERMORE FALLS — Residents attending a public hearing Monday questioned the need for a property maintenance ordinance that would require the repainting of structures with chipped or flaking paint.

Residents questioned many details of the ordinance, including the requirement that all windows and doors have screens and that glazing must be added to windows that are already in good shape. Locks on guestrooms are among other specifics listed in the 32-page code book.

A proposed property maintenance ordinance is going before voters during the annual town meeting referendum on Tuesday, June 11. The ordinance, if approved, adopts the 2003 International Property Maintenance Code. However, the code is not included in the ordinance. It would appear in a book which would be available at the Town Office, Treat Memorial Library and online.

Some residents in attendance said the ordinance takes the town from having no property maintenance ordinance to regulating nearly everything, indoors and outdoors, except for grass height and the permission to keep motor vehicles parked on the lawn.

The code enforcement officer would investigate complaints to see if there is a code violation. While on site, they could also determine if there are additional violations.

Enforcement is reactive on a complaints-basis only, Code Enforcement Officer James Butler Jr. said.

The ordinance would give him specifics that he could enforce, Butler said. But it is too specific, in a way, he said.

If it is voted down, which many in attendance said that it should be, it would go back to the Planning Board to be reworked, he said.

It is a starting point, Butler said.

Resident Kathleen Szostek asked why the town needs an international code instead of one that would specifically address the town’s needs.

She doesn’t have screens on half her windows because she doesn’t open them, she said.

Residents complained to town officials about trash, tires, mattresses and other trash piled up around properties and asked the town to do something. The matter was brought to selectmen’s attention, and they made a request to the Planning Board to draft an ordinance.

One resident said that June 11 was not enough time for people to digest what is in the code. Butler said the Planning Board has been working on the ordinance for months.

Resident Tim Fournier said that if the town built an ordinance around Section 7 of the code — regulating trash and rubbish — that it would fit the town’s needs.

People are tired of driving by properties with bags of rubbish, chairs, dishwashers, mattresses and other items strewn around, he said.

It seems that if you get a complaint, you have to investigate, resident Dale Farrar said.

There is a lot of room for personal animosity in the ordinance, he said. It could prompt someone to complain about someone having a missing screen just because they don’t like the person.

Someone could harass a neighbor, he said.

Once it is passed, it is there, he said. He doubted the town would back track.

Butler said he is looking for voluntary compliance.

“More than likely, this is going to fail,” said Kenny Jacques, a resident running for a selectman’s position.

Nine out of 10 people have asked him, he said, what he was going to do about the town. It is turning into a dump, he said.

“It is not going to go away,” he said of the issue.

There’s no reason somebody who takes care of their property should have to live next to a property that is not maintained and has trash around it, Jacques said.

“We are losing tax dollars,” he said, because people do not want to move to a town where people let their properties go.

Members of the Planning Board were not 100 percent comfortable with the ordinance, Bruce Adams, vice chairman of the Planning Board, said.

Some of the streets that approach town are looking like dumps, he said.

“We definitely have to do something to clean up the town,” Adams said.

It is too late to remove the ordinance from the ballot, town officials said.

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