The North Bend Eagle

 

Properties decared nuisances

by Nathan Arneal
Published 9/9/15

The North Bend City Council declared four properties in southwest North Bend nuisances at its Sept. 1 meeting.

The action is part of an ongoing nuisance abatement program the city is running in conjunction with the Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District. The program breaks the city into five quadrants and examines one per year for violations of the city’s nuisance ordinance. This is the second year of the program.

Originally, 19 properties in this year’s quadrant were sent letters notifying property owners of nuisance violations, and 13 of them were cleared before the deadline. Two others requested and were granted extensions as they work to clean up their properties.

The four properties that were not cleared as of last Monday’s meeting – 1011 W. Seventh St., Sixth and Cedar streets, 810 W. Sixth St. and 610 Cottonwood St. – were declared nuisances.

NENEDD Deputy Director Tina Engelbart showed the council pictures of the four properties and reviewed the nuisance violations observed.

All four properties were cited for “growth of weeds or noxious growth.” Three of the four properties (all but 610 Cottonwood) were cited for accumulation of trash or scrap iron not neatly piled or old automobiles or parts thereof which may serve as breeding ground for vermin, or a fire hazard or “are so unsightly as to depreciate the property values in the vicinity thereof.”

Three of the four properties (all but 6th and Cedar) were cited for scrap, worn-out broken or inoperative personal or real property, including any junk or abandoned vehicles. The same three properties were cited for vehicles that are unregistered, junked or partially dismantled that have remained there longer than 30 days.

Two properties, 810 Sixth St. and 610 Cottonwood, were cited for unsafe or unsightly buildings.

Engelbart said some of the unlicensed vehicles on the properties can remain if they are being used for parts and if the vehicles and the immediate surrounding area are kept tidy.

“Even if the equipment you might use was just lined up,” Engelbart said. “Get it mowed, line it up. You can’t have trees and bushes growing up through things. That’s the issue.”

Engelbart said she has seen evidence that the property owners have begun cleaning up.

“They are making strides,” she said, “but there is still work to be done.”

Now that the properties have been declared nuisances, the owners have another 30 days to get the violations cleared. Owners may also request a hearing if they feel their properties do not violate the nuisance ordinance. The next step is the city abating the property, cleaning it up themselves and billing the property owners. However, if good progress continues to be made, Engelbart said the city has the option of letting the owners continue to work on it.

“If they continue to make progress in the next 30 days then we wouldn’t come to the council and ask you to abate the property,” she said. “Once you abate it, that means (the city) is going to take care of it.”

The council moved forward with declaring the four properties nuisances, but members said they hope the next step – abatement – is only a last resort.

“I think you need to tell them that we’re willing to work with them,” councilman Kevin Ferguson said, “but we need to see progress.”

 

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