Broomfield Nuisance Law Scheduled for 2009 Vote

by Osman Parvez
Now that the 2008 election is history, it's time to start thinking about 2009. Okay, you're probably sick of elections and politics by now, but Broomfield voters should take note. On September 9th, Broomfield City Council passed Ordinance 1891, which states that homeowners could be fined up to $1,000 or spend up to 12 months in jail if their homes meet three or more out of seventeen possible violations outlined by the city. However, last month a group of citizens submitted enough voter signatures to force the new regulations to be decided by public vote. The city council has decided to schedule the vote for the November 2009 general election, instead of holding a special election that could cost up to $117,000.

The Denver Post recently wrote up the story and said that examples of violations are
....missing doors or a missing or broken garage door, a disintegrating roof or one missing at least 10 percent of its shingles, or dead or overgrown landscaping.

Some of the conditions already were considered violations while others are new.

City officials say the ordinance is needed to boost property values and to address health and safety codes. Before prosecuting anyone considered in violation, the city will work with property owners to get their homes back in shape, city leaders said.
The city of Boulder also has a controversial nuisance property policy. Last year, the city passed a nuisance abatement ordinance, defining a piece of property as a public nuisance by creating a strike policy. If a property is reported on two or more separate violations of Boulder Municipal Code within a 12 month period, or three violations within a 24 month period, the property is considered a public nuisance. This gives the city and municipal court the authority to initiate civil action against the property owner.

image: Mike Tigas

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