Last week we ran an editorial suggesting our local municipalities adopt an ordinance to protect homeowners from having to live next to an unkempt, empty house owned by someone not living there or owned by a bank through foreclosure.
We apparently did not do our homework; we are glad to say the City of Covington does have such an ordinance in place and it appears to be very effective.
According to Brett Reed with the city's planning and zoning department, the ordinance works this way - if you live near or next to a neglected piece of property, stop by the historic courthouse and fill out some paperwork. The Planning Department will take about 10 days to find the owner of the property and serve them with a notice to clean up the property.
If this cannot be done, then the city files a claim with the city court. It usually takes another 10 days for an order to be served to the owner of the property. If no owner is found, the department places a lien on the property.
According to Reed, there have been approximately 40 complaints issued this year with 100 percent compliance.
We suggest that our other local municipalities take a look at the Covington ordinance and adapt it to fit the needs of their citizens. We have been impressed recently with the pro-active stance the city of Covington leadership has taken in dealing not only with future growth of the city, but also in taking steps to protect the folks that currently call Covington their home.