(This story first appeared in Monday's Business Watch e-mail, from our content partner, Evansville Business. You can be among the first to get local business news by signing up for Business Watch. A link is located on the Business Watch page.)
A proposed ordinance to replace the current Evansville City Housing Code adopted in 1982 will go before the Evansville City Council Monday night for a first reading.
“This ordinance represents the work of nearly 70 volunteers who worked in small groups for the past year to help design standards to help improve the appearance and safety of the city’s neighborhoods,” said Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel. “Combined with the feedback we received when the ordinance was posted on the city Web site, I am pleased to present this collaborative effort to make the Property Maintenance Code understandable, simple and enforceable.”
Last spring, the Mayor held a public meeting with city residents to discuss how to improve the appearance of Evansville’s neighborhoods. From that meeting, nearly 70 people volunteered to help create the new proposed ordinance. The proposed PMC covers not only residential structures, but has been expanded to include all non-residential buildings.
In addition, the proposed PMC establishes minimum requirements and standards for categories such as light, ventilation, space, heating and cleanliness. The proposal also addresses maintenance expectations and clarifies the responsibility of property owners, operators and occupants with regard to those expectations.
“A new Property Maintenance Code will give the City an important tool in cleaning up dilapidated houses and structures and making sure that property owners are maintaining their properties,” Weinzapfel said. “This is important to our neighborhood revitalization efforts and making the city safer.”
The International Code Council’s International Property Maintenance Code serves as the model for the proposed ordinance. Both Evansville and the State of Indiana have adopted the International Code Council’s other codes including Building, Material, Electrical, Plumbing and Fire. “With this proposed Property Maintenance code in place, our neighborhood inspectors will be able to clearly define what are the violations of the new code and the expansion to include all property owners will allow us to work with everyone to correct problems,” said Greg Bryant, director of Neighborhood Services.
A comparison of the proposed and current codes can be viewed at www.evansvillegov.org.