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By Annette Harvison
Officials with the Town of Leakesville have introduced two new town ordinances and amendments to two existing town ordinances that address issues ranging from historic buildings to residential driveways in the county seat.
An amendment has been added to Ordinance 103, concerning historic buildings and structures. The amendment states that no structure, building or home being more than 75 years old can be demolished without first seeking approval from the board of alderman. The addition to the ordinance comes after complaints from town residents, town officials, and preservation officials over historic homes and buildings in the town being demolished. Town leaders added the language in an effort to help preserve the history of the town and its homes and buildings.
The amendment applies only to residential homes in the corporate limit at date of enactment. No demolition will be allowed to any homes and structures within the terms of amendments without seeking approval from the board of alderman. Residents with objections to this amendment can express those concerns at the next board of aldermen’s meeting.
Another amendment passed for Ordinance 103 concerns driveways to residential homes within the city limits. This amendment will require that any new construction must include a substantial driveway and parking area. The ordinance states materials such as asphalt, concrete, brick, stone, or other like materials must be used in construction of driveways and parking areas. Dirt, sand, mulch and clay will not be allowed. This amendment affects current residents as well, giving them six months to become compliant to the new standard.
Parking on residential properties within the city limits is addressed in this ordinance by stating that it will no longer be acceptable to “stack pack” and haphazardly park multiple vehicles on public properties. Vehicles must be parked in acceptable driveways and parking areas.
Officials say the amendment seeks to address the overall aesthetic of the town, as well as property value decline within the city limits. This addition further addresses the condition of town roads as dirt driveways are susceptible to wash in heavy rains, leaving main roadways unsafe. The amendment has a 60-day effectiveness date, giving town residents more than the normal 30-day effectiveness period to address any objections and concerns to the Board of Alderman meeting.
New Town Ordinance 146 addresses the issue of truck use and traffic in the Town of Leakesville. The town has stated that the roads and bridges within the town were not constructed to withstand the weight of the heavy truck traffic. The ordinance addresses complaints from residents about truck parking in hazardous areas of town. The ordinance does allow for residents to have available parking areas for their truck within the city limits and will allow drivers to unhitch their trailers to drive their cab home.
The town has implemented a route for through truck traffic as well as routes for normal deliveries within the town. These routes have been determined to be the best routes to avoid damage to roadways in town. Ordinance 146 will have a 60-day effectiveness period. Any affected resident will have ample time to address the board of aldermen with objections at the next meeting.
Town Ordinance 147 enacts the Town of Leakesville Environmental Court. The goal of this new ordinance is to enhance the quality of life and safety of town residents. The court will work to enhance the town and work toward future economic development. Violations of any town ordinances will be heard in the town’s environmental court with due process. Citations can be given for any violation of town laws and ordinances currently existing and future ordinances and laws that are enacted and enforced.
Official town employees finding violations can issue a ticket to offenders. The ordinance also states that town law enforcement, other city officials and private residents may file a charge or complaint against violators, though due process is required before an official citation is issued. A court date will be issued for not less than 14 days from the citation, though it could be more than 14 days before Environmental Court convenes. This ordinance will go into effect at its adoption and publication.
Town Clerk Rex Garretson said these amendments and ordinances are to improve the quality of life for all residents within the city limits. They are part of the Main Street Leakesville Organization, and will work to help the town move forward with progress.
“Improving the quality of the town will help create interest in economic development,” Garretson said. “We are working to make Leakesville a desirable place to live, with safe streets and homes.”
The full text of each of these amendments and new ordinances can be found on page six of this week’s edition of the Herald.
The next board of aldermen’s meeting for the Town of Leakesville will be held Apr. 9, at 2 p.m. at Leakesville Town Hall.