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City to Consider Fines for Tidiness Violators

November 16, 1998|S.J. CAHN

Simi Valley officials tonight will consider enacting an ordinance to allow fines to be levied against property owners or renters who refuse to clean up messy yards or businesses.

The ordinance would establish three tiers of fines for "egregious" violators of the city's property maintenance ordinance, which took effect in July.

Under the new ordinance, first-time offenders could be fined $100, a second violation could bring a $200 fine, and a third offense could earn a $500 citation.

"This is something we would use after we have exhausted other administrative efforts to bring people into compliance," Assistant City Manager Laura Herron said.

Since July, the city has received 142 complaints about violations of the property maintenance ordinance. Of those complaints, 48 were dismissed because the city did not consider the offenses "egregious." Four are awaiting a field inspection.

There have been 90 confirmed violations of the ordinance. Voluntary compliance, which the city attempts to achieve by contacting property owners, has been achieved on 24 of those 90 cases.

"It's like putting teeth in [the ordinance]," Councilman Paul Miller said of the proposal. "If there are no consequences, then why have it on the books?"

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