A.J. due to back off rules on clutter - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

A.J. due to back off rules on clutter

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Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2005 6:44 am | Updated: 9:12 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Parking boats, RVs and trailers in driveways and front yards probably won’t become illegal in Apache Junction, a council subcommittee agreed Monday night.

Parking them in a side yard, in plain view, probably won’t become illegal, either.

"My recommendation is these disappear altogether because the council wasn’t in favor of it, the committee isn’t in favor of it, the people in this room aren’t in favor of it," said Councilman Dave Waldron.

Waldron, Councilman Joe Severs, and Vice Mayor R.E. Eck are members of the subcommittee holding public meetings about the city’s

proposed "neighborhood preservation ordinance" so they can take back ideas to the City Council.

The ordinance was proposed to clean up properties — such as ones with toilets as lawn ornaments — that some say give the city a negative image.

The main topic was "outside storage," or restrictions on what can be in front yards. About 50 residents came. A majority who spoke had misgivings about the proposal.

Some blasted wording that appliances or other items must be behind a fence, plants or otherwise be shielded.

Mike Weller said he moved to the city for uncluttered vistas.

"I really don’t like it when the neighbor comes in next door and says ‘don’t look at my dirt, I got a six-foot block wall,’ " he said.

Another objection was that more fences and screens could make it harder to spot health and safety hazards.

If the city would just enforce the current rules, that would be enough to take care of blight, speakers said. "I think we need to use the enforcement officers we have, get some more, and crack down on those property owners that are a problem," Severs said

Resident Gregory Delp said he calls police and code enforcement officers about two cluttered, foul-smelling properties near his home. "I don’t know what happens, but nothing happens," he said. "We need more teeth so this man can enforce the law and my property value will go up instead of down," he said, pointing to code compliance employee Bob Mayes.

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