In response to resident concerns, Council adopted the Property Maintenance Code in 2007 that establishes standards for home maintenance as well as provides for enforcement of Code violations. Basically, the Village requires properties appear neat and uncluttered when viewed from the street, and in no way present a nuisance or health hazard to neighbors or the public. For complete definitions and details, read through the Property Maintenance Code.
If you observe a poorly kept house or yard in your neighborhood, contact the Village Administration via email or call 531-8675, and they will handle it from there. In the interest of being thorough and fair, the Village follows a multi-step process of notification and enforcement that may seem slow.
First, the property is inspected by Village officials and the condition documented, then they contact the listed property owner, often by certified letter with a return receipt. Sometimes, owners are difficult to track down. The Village relies on records maintained by the Hamilton County Auditor’s Office. In the case of foreclosures, ownership may be nebulous, as ownership is often assumed by out-of-town banks. Once owners are identified, the notification process must be completed before any further action can be taken.
Delivery of a certified letter may take several weeks. If it cannot be delivered and signed for, then the Village takes additional notification steps, including posting a letter noting the violation on the door of the home or publishing a notice of violation in the classified sections of area newspapers.
If none of those measures work, the Village will then step in as soon as it is legally possible to do so and resolve the problem. This may involve cutting grass and weeds, draining stagnant water, removing unsightly objects from yards, or exterminating rodents, but this may not happen for weeks after an initial complaint is made.
Property owners are charged for such actions by the Village and notified that they need to pay for them. If they fail to pay, a lien is placed against the property for the amount of the costs incurred.
A property owner who wishes to appeal a decision made under this Code may do so by filing a written application for appeal within the time limit for compliance with the order or 20 days after the decision, notice or order was served, whichever is less. The appeal will be heard by the Property Maintenance Review Board, which consists of three residents appointed by the Mayor who are qualified in property maintenance matters.