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Council adopts land usage ordinance changes; city officials have more teeth to enforce nuisances


The Sullivan City Council adopted two amendments to its city land usage ordinance, in essence, providing city officials more teeth to abate nuisance complaints during its monthly meeting on Tuesday.

“As you recall, we’ve been discussing this for quite some time,” Sullivan Mayor Clint Lamb told the council. “It was discussed in great detail at last month’s meeting … and you guys voted to move forward with the final ordinance.

“I think last time there was some concerns it might be a little vague. It pretty much stated in there, pretty directly, the city reserves the right to abate the nuisance.”

After a brief discussion, councilman Gene Bonham made the motion to adopt the ordinance amendments with John Ellington providing a second. Steve Martindale and Raymond Pirtle completed a unanimous 4-0 vote. Scott Brown was absent.

The two amendments are:
• “For temporary occupancy for any purpose, manufactured homes, mobile home and/or travel trailers shall be subject to an Improvement location permit and comply with all local, state and federal laws regarding temporary occupancy and furthermore, such permit shall expire in three months from the date of issuance and the permit shall not be renewed or extended for 12 months from the date the permit is issued without receiving a variance from the Zoning Commission.”
• “Placement of manufactured home; procedure. (a) No person shall place or locate a manufactured home of less than 23 feet in width on a parcel of real estate or lot located within the corporate limits of the city. The city of Sullivan reserves the right to abate the nuisance for any and all violations of this ordinance.”

The ordinance update also eliminates any reference to “the two-mile jurisdiction” as the two-mile jurisdiction is no longer in existence.

The updated ordinance takes effect on Aug. 1.

What happens then?

“After Aug. 1, I think the building commissioner is going to give everyone a chance to comply,” city attorney Doug Followell said. “Then they can get a 90-day permit, I think. If they get that, then once it’s up, they’re done. It’s got to go. If they don’t take it out, we’re going to take it out.”

Followell cited an example of how this ordinance will work, from his perspective as Park and Lake attorney, saying, “The city did a super job getting that mobile home off the curve (near the park entrance recently).

“I suspect the city will treat those, especially those that are found to be unsafe and unfit for human habitation to be removed immediately or removed as soon as possible.”

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