LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A unanimous vote Wednesday night, September 19, at the Lake Charles City Council raised standards for rundown properties.
The ordinance that passed would give owners whose property is reported to the standards division two years to get it cleared up, or sell it.
“We’re trying to do everything we can to get property owners to be responsible property owners. We want to see properties back in commerce. We want to eliminate blite. We want to make people feel proud to live in their neighborhood,” Mayor Nic Hunter said.
However, the issue doesn’t end at boarded up homes; the Property Standards Division also oversees property upkeep from trash and debris to high grass and weeds. Mayor Hunter said he believes this ordinance will be another tool to help them better do their job.
According to Code Enforcement Supervisor, Terry Magnon, over the past two years, the number of complaints to the Property Standards Division has decreased—which lead Magnon to believe certain areas of the city are improving.
“When you look at those numbers and you see those numbers declining, at least in my book, that says the guys are doing a good job. Our employees are doing a good job, they’re getting those violations before the constituents are actually complaining about them,” Magnon said.
The city hopes this new ordinance will help areas who aren’t seeing improvement will encourage them to be better neighbors.
Mayor Hunter said he met with realtors, landlords, and property owners about the ordinance and wasn’t met with any push back.