Connect with us

Local Government

Public calls for more active Property Maintenance Code enforcement – and it works

Published

on

Introducing herself as a ‘libertarian and a landlord’ - Melanie Salins calls for the town government to protect its citizens from public health and public safety abuses by what she termed ‘slumlords’. Photo/Roger Bianchini. Video by Mike McCool, Royal Examiner.

A strong public outpouring of support for stronger property maintenance enforcement led to an unexpected result at Monday’s Front Royal Town Council meeting. Work session discussion indicated a clear majority in support of a so-called “baby step” move of Option B of five options presented to council by staff in recent months.

After nine of nine “Public Concerns” speakers addressed council and the mayor in favor of the more proactive and less costly Option C two councilmen, John Connolly and Gary Gillespie, stated that they had changed their mind in favor of Option C that day.

Connolly directly attributed his change of heart to the public turnout in favor of Option C – which included many who did not speak – at the meeting. Following the meeting, Gillespie elaborated to the media on his meeting comments about earlier discussions that day with code enforcement colleagues swaying his stance.

Gillespie explained those colleagues were at his work in Loudoun County where he serves as a planning reviewer, which he added does involve code enforcement.

With Gillespie and Connolly joining earlier Option C proponents Chris Morrison and Jacob Meza, Meza’s motion, seconded by Morrison, to adopt the Option C initiative of adoption “of the Property Maintenance Code in full without a Rental Inspection Program” passed 4-2, with Vice-Mayor Eugene Tewalt and Councilman William Sealock dissenting.

While the compromise option falls short of Morrison’s hope of implementation of the full code with renter protections in place, he noted that option was not likely to gain a majority council consensus at this point due to its added enforcement staff costs estimates from $50,000 to $150,000 a year.

Staff’s estimate of the costs associated with Option C of building code enforcement, essentially on a complaint or outside structure observation basis, was legal costs associated with landlord challenges of Town citations against them.

Royal Examiner’s camera was there to capture the meeting. Watch the Council at work and the public comments that swayed at least one councilman and council discussion prior to its vote.

Download the agenda here.

Get Your Zombie Walk Shirt!

King Cartoons

Upcoming Events

Nov
14
Wed
7:30 pm Disney’s The Lion King JR. @ RMA Melton Memorial Gymnasium
Disney’s The Lion King JR. @ RMA Melton Memorial Gymnasium
Nov 14 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Disney's The Lion King JR. @ RMA Melton Memorial Gymnasium
Disney’s The Lion King JR. is playing at Randolph-Macon Academy starting on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 2:00 pm for two days only, through Thursday, November 15, 2018. Lasting approximately 90 minutes (including intermission), the[...]
Nov
15
Thu
6:00 pm Drawing Studio @ Art in the Valley
Drawing Studio @ Art in the Valley
Nov 15 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Drawing Studio @ Art in the Valley
All drawing levels welcome. In this class we’ll work on creating drawings from still life, plaster casts, or reference photos. Learn and develop your abilities in composition, proportion, and rendering with artist and instructor Michael[...]
7:30 pm Disney’s The Lion King JR. @ RMA Melton Memorial Gymnasium
Disney’s The Lion King JR. @ RMA Melton Memorial Gymnasium
Nov 15 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Disney's The Lion King JR. @ RMA Melton Memorial Gymnasium
Disney’s The Lion King JR. is playing at Randolph-Macon Academy starting on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 2:00 pm for two days only, through Thursday, November 15, 2018. Lasting approximately 90 minutes (including intermission), the[...]
Nov
16
Fri
6:30 pm Deck the Halls – Premier Gala @ Blue Ridge Arts Council
Deck the Halls – Premier Gala @ Blue Ridge Arts Council
Nov 16 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Deck the Halls - Premier Gala @ Blue Ridge Arts Council
Each November, the gallery of Blue Ridge Arts Council is transformed into a holiday wonderland. Deck the Halls has proven to be a tremendous success over the past 15 years. Hundreds of volunteers participate in[...]
7:00 pm LFCC presenting “Women in Jeopardy” @ Lord Fairfax Community College | McCoy Theatre
LFCC presenting “Women in Jeopardy” @ Lord Fairfax Community College | McCoy Theatre
Nov 16 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
LFCC presenting “Women in Jeopardy” @ Lord Fairfax Community College | McCoy Theatre
The title of Lord Fairfax Community College’s fall play may be “Women in Jeopardy,” but the only danger audience members will face is laughing so hard they miss the next lines. This year’s show is[...]