[StBernard] Fines

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Sat Feb 10 14:47:06 EST 2007


I hear your frustration so I will try to stay on point here.

1. The fines are for the non-compliance of the ordinance that was passed,
publicized, and discussed numerous times in the summer of 2006. Because
there was so limited cooperation with the ordinance, the fines were added.
Regardless of the plan one is making or has made for a property, cleaning
and securing the property to the minimal guidelines should be part of
individual accountability to maintain one's property. This is not a new
concept- it is just an issue because so many people are not in their
neighborhoods or their homes. No fines for not completing perm work at this
point, but to have not addressed one's property at a minimum level if it is
not being demolished at this point is just not justified. Even in the oil
spill area, knocking down high grass can be accomplished. The sad reality
is that many people say that thay are waiting for the Road Home program but
are not planning on returning and will eventually t ear the house down
anyway. This is why those who are not returning to St. Bernard and waiting
for the LRA to buy them out can request demolition and it does not penalize
them from the LRA program (document your damage and your square footage and
any other information- some even get an appraisal before demolition)- and
this gives St. bernard a fighting chance against the potentially
overabundant damaged home market which causes the recovery of the housing
market in St. Bernard to be extremely depressed. Cleaning and securing
properties at least gives neighborhoods a face lift, an improved health
environment, and moves recovery a step in the right direction. I am open to
other means to motivate people to clean and secure non-demoed registered
houses, but I am afraid that many of our residents have fallen victim of a
system that paralyzes with promises. The clean and secure fine applies to
grass and doors and windows although I doors and windows are goin g to
likely draw less intensity than overgrown yards. Those that have debris
still in their yard should have signed a Right of Entry Form for personal
property debris removal with the community development office- 278-4310.

2. The properties will be posted on the web as they are documented in the
compliance system- if a proerty is liened- updating the lien will likely
happen in increments of the 1,000 dollar range to avoid a cumbersome
process. The liens are not likely to begin immediately because that is not
the focus of the process and fines that are issued initially and challenged
as people get to their properties can be forgiven without having to deal
with the lein issue as well. As far as hitting you again- come on, I can
almost assure you that there is no one living somewhere else and neglecting
their property like some are neglected in St. Bernard, nor were most of
these properties neglected like this before the storm- why allow a
substandard of living to go on for more than 18 months?

3. The ABFE issue has nothing to do with putting a door (temporary or
otherwise) on a property. The fact that the council has not adopted the
ABFE to this point has not been a factor to any individual issue for the
LRA, FEMA, or NFIP. The two issues - doors and ABFE- are unrelated.

4. Swimming pools must be protected and secured is an existing ordinance-
the administration was requested to enforce these fines for months now and
they have chosen not to. The new discussion is to require the pool be
filled in or secured with a fence as required by the current ordinance. I
agree the pools present a serious hazard as well. I live next to a pool
that has been open for over 7 months and have requested this issue to be
addressed on numerous ocassions. I am hopeful that Mr. DiFatta drafts a
workable soultion to this issue soon, but fines are in place, when the
adminstration decides to enforce them.

5. The meetings are held now according to the charter - one during the day
and one at night.

6. If you come to the meeting, no need to bring your wallet, just good
solid solutions attached to each complaint, but remember the solution has to
fit for a parish not just an individual.

Hope to see you soon and maybe you could introduce yourself as I am not sure
who Khaki is.

Good luck and God Bless,

More information about the StBernard mailing list