Martin Board Looking to Clean Up City
BY DAVID FISHER
MARTIN (October 11) — During the October 11 meeting of the Martin Board of Mayor and Aldermen, members discussed a $524,689 CDBG sewer grant, a Hotel Occupancy Tax, a rezoning ordinance, and several revisions to the City of Martin Code of Ordinances dealing with property codes.
Martin Receives $524,689 Sewer Grant
The City of Martin has tentatively been awarded $524,689 in CDBG funds from Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
After receiving competitive bids for the 2019 CDBG Sewer System Improvements Project, the board approved awarding a contract to Bobby Luttrell & Sons, LLC of Dundee, Kentucky, at the base bid price of $199,900.
Bond Issue Approved for Capital Projects
The board approved a resolution authorizing the City to issue, sell, and provide for the payment of interest-bearing capital outlay notes, not to exceed $850,000, to finance certain public works projects.
Hotel Occupancy Tax
The board approved the second and final reading of an ordinance enacting a Hotel Occupancy Tax. The ordinance sets the hotel occupancy tax at 4.0 percent, provided the proceeds are used for the promotion of tourism and tourism development.
An ordinance amending the City of Martin Code of Ordinances, relative to unsafe buildings, was approved on first reading.
The ordinance inserts a new section, regarding residential and non-residential buildings.
The new section reads in part: “All residential/nonresidential buildings or structures used as such which are unsafe, unsanitary, unfit for human habitation, or not provided with adequate egress, or which constitute a fire hazard, or are otherwise dangerous to human life, or which in relation to existing use constitute a hazard to safety or health by reason of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, obsolescence, or abandonment, are considered unsafe buildings. All such unsafe buildings are hereby declared illegal and shall be abated by repair and rehabilitation or by demolition in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.”
The ordinance states: “Whenever the Building Inspector determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provision of this code or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, he shall give notice of such alleged violation to the person or persons responsible therefore and such alleged violations shall constitute a nuisance. The notice shall be either served on the owner personally by the Building Inspector or mailed to the owner’s last known address.”
Under the terms of the revision, property owners will have 15 days to correct major violations and 30 days to correct minor violations, with a maximum time limit of 120 days for either, subject to approval of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
If the repairs reconstruction, alterations, removal or demolition are not voluntarily completed within the stated time as set forth in the notice, the Building Inspector shall institute such legal proceedings charging the person or persons, firm, corporation or agent with a violation of the code.
After notice is given, the Building Inspector shall also place a placard on the building giving notice of such condemnation which requires the premises to be vacated within 30 days after it is posted. No building condemned and placarded shall be used for human habitation after expiration of that time. No person shall deface or remove the placard until it shall have been repaired, reconstructed, altered or demolished as required by the Building Inspector.
The ordinance stipulates, “If, after the expiration of 120 days after notice being given by the Building Inspector, the building has not been repaired, reconstructed, altered or demolished according to the notice, the Building Inspector may, in addition to any other remedies available, instruct the city attorney to file suit for abatement of the nuisance against the owner of the real estate.”
Neglected or Overgrown Property
The board approved an ordinance dealing with neglected property on first reading.
One of the ordinances amends the City of Martin Code of Ordinances involving the maintenance of property.
The ordinance prohibits the accumulation of trash, rubbish, abandoned appliances and other debris and declares them to be a nuisance. It further states anything that constitutes a threat or menace to life, property, public health, public welfare, creates a fire hazard, or encourages the infestation of rats and other harmful animals, are specifically prohibited and determined to be a public nuisance. Additionally, overgrown vegetation is declared to be a nuisance.
The outdoor use or storage of furniture not properly treated, manufactured, or intended for outdoor use or storage on any lot, tract, or parcel of land within the corporate limits of the City of Martin is also prohibited.
The Chief of Police and his/her subordinates in the department of police are designated to enforce the provisions of this section of the City of Martin Code of Ordinances.
The property owner will have 10 days to comply or the property may be cleaned up at the expense of the owner and a lien placed against the property to secure the cost of the clean-up. However, if the owner is a carrier engaged in the transportation of property or is a utility transmitting communications, electricity, gas, liquids, steam, sewage, or other materials), excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, he/she will have 20 days to comply.
Appeals shall be filed with the city recorder within 10 days following the receipt of the notice. Failure to appeal within this time shall, without exception, constitute a waiver of the right to a hearing.
If the property owner of record fails or refuses to remedy the condition the Codes Enforcement Officer shall immediately cause the condition to be remedied or removed at a cost in conformity with reasonable standards, and the costs thereof shall be assessed against the owner of the property. The city may collect the costs assessed against the owner through an action for debt filed in any court of competent jurisdiction.
The board approved the first reading of an ordinance prohibiting the storage of abandoned, wrecked, junked, partially dismantled, or inoperative motor vehicles on any lot, tract, or parcel of land, and on the public rights-of-way, within the corporate limits of the City of Martin, except as may be permitted in by the Martin Zoning Code.
However, there are certain exceptions exempt from this provision. This includes any motor vehicle (as described above) that meets the following criteria:
Vehicles over 25 years old that are retained by the owner for collection purposes rather than for salvage or for transportation; said vehicle shall be maintained in operable condition and may be required to be kept in conformance with the following paragraph;
Vehicles kept within a building where it will not be visible from any adjacent property or right-of-way;
Vehicles located on the premises of a business enterprise operated in strict compliance with all state regulations or as may be permitted by the Martin Zoning Code and when necessary to the operation of such business enterprise;
And vehicles located in an appropriate storage place or depository maintained at a location officially designated and in a manner approved by the City of Martin.
Single-Family Residences Defined
An ordinance defining single-family residences was approved on first reading.
The ordinance stipulates that a dwelling unit will be considered a single-family residence only if its permanent occupants are limited to one of the following categories:
– One individual.
– Any number of persons related by blood, marriage, adoption or foster care.
– House no more than three unrelated persons to a primary occupant if the relationship between such person and such primary occupant is more distant in degree than that of first cousins.
– Not more than eight unrelated mentally retarded, mentally handicapped or physically handicapped persons (as determined by any duly authorized entity, including governmental agencies or licensed medical practitioners). Such a residence may also be occupied by three additional persons acting as house parents or guardians, who need not be related to each other or to any of the other persons residing in the home.
However, the ordinance states that a group home operated as a for-profit commercial enterprise shall not be permitted use within a residential zoning district.
The ordinance defines permanent occupants as those: occupying a dwelling for more than 21 days within any 12-month period; registers to vote using the address of a dwelling; receives mail at a dwelling; registers a vehicle or applies for a driver’s license using the address of the dwelling; or is registered to attend school, using the address of the dwelling, or is registered as a home school student at such address.
With the exception of bed and breakfast lodges permitted under the provisions of this chapter, no single-family residence or portion thereof may be rented out to any tenant(s) for less than one month.
The board approved the first reading of an ordinance to approve a request by Todd Jones and Trent Jones to rezone a portion of property located at 112 West Peach St., from B-2 (Intermediate Business) to R-3 (High Density Residential). The re-zoning request is because the property is being considered as the site of an apartment complex and retail store.
Mayor Randy Brundige announced the next informal meeting of the City of Martin Board is scheduled for November 2, and Martin’s next official meeting is November 8. Both meeting will be held at 5:15 p.m. in the city courtroom.