Ordinance not for all

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Where people see junk, county resident Alvin Clark sees his livelihood.

Clark, 70, a scrap metal dealer, told members of the county’s Land Use Committee on Thursday that a countywide nuisance ordinance now under discussion would be the end of his livelihood.

“I have junk on my property. I make a living off it,” said Clark, who also had yard sales on his property. “If you take that away from me, that’s it.”

The committee met to seek public input for a proposed nuisance ordinance that would address untidy properties in the county. About 30 people attended, including city officials and county residents.

The draft ordinance addresses junked vehicles, garbage and high weeds and grass on private property. Penalties include a $500 fine. If the county has to clean the property, it can place a lien on the property if the owner can’t pay the fine.

County Attorney Stephen Doerr said the ordinance only address safety concerns, such as fire and health hazards, and not appearance.