SC Commissioners Approve Final Reading of Environmental Public Nuisance Ordinance

The Starke County Commissioners considered the final reading of an Environmental Public Nuisance Ordinance when members met last Monday.

The ordinance was presented to commissioners back in November.

At that time, it was reported that the documents states if a private property owner is found to have any accumulation of trash, junk, debris, building materials, chemicals, tires, inoperable and problematically placed vehicles or equipment that is deemed a public nuisance, they may be in violation of the ordinance.

The County enforcement officer is expected to investigate complaints and make a determination, and then the owner has a minimum of 10 days to take care of the violation. If the officer inspects the area and the issue has been resolved, no further action will be necessary.

However, if it is found that the owner was not successful in bringing the property into compliance, the County may take action to clear the property and the individual will incur the cost of clean up.

The ordinance also reportedly includes that a private property owner has the ability to object to the violation before the Starke County Plan Commission. 

When members met for their first meeting of the year, Commissioner Kathy Norem asked County Attorney Marty Lucas if he felt that the Plan Commission would utilize the ordinance. He noted that after a long process and the creation of multiple iterations, he believes they have found the right wording that will be useful.

A motion was made to approve the ordinance as presented and it passed with a unanimous vote. Norem added that she hopes now that it has been passed, it will be used out in Koontz Lake to address a matter that originally stressed the need for such an ordinance.

If you have any question about what the document entails, contact the Starke County Auditor’s Office at 574-772-9101.