CITY OF MELBOURNE, FLORIDA MINUTES – REGULAR MEETING BEFORE CITY COUNCIL JANUARY 27, 2009
Mr. Gougelman explained that whether the property is vacant or not, the City would have an obligation to notice the property owner. If we are not able to contact the property owner and it’s an emergency situation, we would have a right to go on the property. Additionally, if the property owner doesn’t want to react to a life safety violation – a violation that is an attractive nuisance – the City would be able to address a barrier around a pool or a live, hanging electric wire. If the ordinance is administered properly, it will serve as a tool that can be used to make sure that lives are saved.
Mr. LaRusso said that the intent of this ordinance is to address the problems experienced after the 2004 hurricanes. One property owner was cited for having an open pool and he played the Code Enforcement Board game for over a year while the pool was not covered. The City did not have a mechanism in place to surround the pool with a safety fence.
Continuing, Mr. LaRusso noted that we may only have six to ten of these cases a year, but that number will grow as a result of greater economic challenges.
Mrs. Tasker pointed out that this ordinance is not specific to foreclosed properties. Money for repairs comes from assessments. She added that it would be possible at a future date to make the federal dollars the City is going to receive applicable under a separate ordinance.
Discussion continued on the history of this ordinance. Attorney Gougelman stated that this ordinance doesn’t just deal with foreclosure situations. The ordinance attempts to confront the situation of an attractive nuisance at a house in foreclosure or at an occupied house with an owner who just doesn’t care.
Mrs. Corby said she’s trying to make the point that we should position ourselves when the federal funding becomes eligible to make the maintenance expenses eligible for reimbursement. We need to either re-think this ordinance or consider a separate ordinance. Additionally, she’d like the small businesses to be involved in the temporary repairs.
Mrs. Tasker agreed that there are two separate issues. This ordinance addresses public safety issues in a broad enough way that it can apply to foreclosed properties or neglected properties; it’s essential that we have this ordinance. The foreclosed/blight homes have to be addressed in a different manner because there may be some homes that are a blight but are not unsafe.
Moved by LaRusso/Tasker for approval of Ordinance No. 2009-05. unanimously.
ORDINANCE NO. 2009-06, JUNKED, ABANDONED, AND WRECKED PROPERTY: (First Reading) An ordinance amending Chapter 17 of the City Code, entitled “Junked, Abandoned, and Wrecked Property,” by requiring mortgagee registration relating to real property mortgages in default; requiring maintenance of certain real property by mortgagees; providing security requirements; prohibiting obstruction of and providing for
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