City Removed “Junk” After Issuing First Porch Citation
Earlier this year, the city of Eureka issued a citation for various items left on the porch of 302 S. Main Street. Among the items were piles of trash, lumber, old appliances, furniture, and miscellaneous clutter. This citation was the first of its kind in Eureka, as the current city attorney has interpreted Chapter VIII, Article II of Eureka’s city code differently than previous city attorneys. The code allows the city to cite junk and refuse in “areas exposed to the weather” on private property. In years past, city attorneys believed this could not include covered porches. Current city attorney Stuart Symmonds disagrees and believes the city has the authority to cite porches, if they are in violation of the code.
The citation process includes the city mailing a letter to the property owner, which provides the owner with 15 days to resolve the issue. If not resolved, the city council is able to vote to hold a public hearing to give the owner the opportunity to plead their case. If no solution comes of the public hearing the council can vote on a resolution, which is then published in the newspaper, giving the city authority to resolve the problem after 20 days of publication.
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