A new code compliance enforcement initiative should still the voices of those who accuse the town of coddling Main Street and Green Valley Redevelopment Area property owners.
The initiative, spearheaded by Main Street Manager Karen Greenspoon, town Planning Specialist Gary Butkus and Zoning Administrator Ray Erlandsen, will begin March 1. Businesses in the Green Valley Redevelopment Area will be targeted as town officials make a "sweep" of the area looking for unsightly premises, unlicensed and/or abandoned vehicles, sign code violations and non-screened areas.
"In the past, due to a shortage of enforcement personnel, (code compliance) has always been complaint driven," Erlandsen said. "Now that we're better staffed, Karen is focusing on the redevelopment and Main Street area."
The emphasis is appropriate, Erlandsen believes.
"She's focusing on this area because that's part of what redevelopment is all about -- cleaning it up," he said. "We still don't have staff to go out in the rest of the town and go searching for things, so it's still going to be complaint-driven outside the redevelopment area."
Greenspoon asks that all business and property owners in the redevelopment area take care of anything that would contribute to unsightly situations.
"We're trying to catch as many of these as we can before they become complaints," she said.
Unsightly premises are defined in the town's unified development code as "property visible from the street that is so unsightly or untidy as to substantially detract from the appearance of the immediate neighborhood or tend to threaten the safety and welfare of anyone."
Signage violations include a lot of different things, according to Greenspoon, including unpermitted banners and sandwich-board signs.
Butkus, who joined the town staff in December, said he expects the overwhelming majority of property owners to cooperate.
"There are a lot of good guys down there," she said.
The Green Valley Redevelopment Area is a triangular shaped area roughly bounded by Aero Drive, McLane Road, Highway 87 and Frontier Street.
Any property owner unable to comply or needing further clarification can call the Community Development office at 474-5242 or the Main Street office at 468-6074.