Owners of eyesore properties may end up in court

by Brandon Richards bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV) - Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach is pushing the Lake Charles City Council to adopt a proposal that could curtail the number of untidy and unsightly properties around town.

If approved by the city council, the new ordinance would establish a civil penalty for property owners who violate property standards as outlined in the city code.

"This particular procedure is patterned after a procedure that the city of Baton Rouge adopted," said Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach. "It has proved to be fairly effective."

Violators would have to appear before a hearing officer and would be subjected to a civil fee or fine.

Roach could not give any specifics about the amount violators would have to pay, explaining that it's still too early in the process to get into any details like that.

"One of the features that we're also looking at is a provision that would allow the property owner, or the violator, 30 to 60 days to cure the violation and avoid the penalty," said Roach.

Roach said the new ordinance would help the city deal more effectively with zoning violators. Roach noted that since the storms of 2005, his office has seen constant complaints about unkempt properties.

The Louisiana Municipal Association helped the Mayor's office craft the proposal.

It will still be several weeks before the city council votes on the measure.

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