WADSWORTH: City Council adopted a nuisance ordinance with teeth Tuesday.
The ordinance is an outgrowth of a letter of concern to city officials from more than 50 residents in the southwest section of the city.
Signers of the letter indicated, “We are scared for the security of our homes, and ourselves.” In addition, they noted, “the properties are unkempt, unclean and a disgrace to the neighborhood. Many of the tenants arrive with criminal backgrounds and lack of respect for the neighborhood.”
Safety Director Matt Hiscock obtained copies of nuisance ordinances in effect in Kent and Orrville and used those as a guide to tailor one for Wadsworth.
The ordinance council approved lists 15 categories of activities that may be declared public nuisances. They include drug abuse, gambling, sanitation, obstruction of official business, weapons, fireworks, open burning and curfew violations.
Two violations within a six-month period will cause the property owner to be notified of the nuisance violations.
The third violation will declare the property a nuisance property.
The fourth will cause the city to abate the nuisance with the cost of the abatement to be assessed against the property.
The first five instances of nuisance violations will impose a service fee of $100 each. Subsequent violations will trigger a $200 fee.
Property owners who are assessed will have the right to appeal to a Board of Nuisance Abatement, which the ordinance created.
That board will include the safety director, chairperson of city council’s Safety Committee and three community members the mayor will appoint.