Proposed ordinance would crack down on messy yards - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Proposed ordinance would crack down on messy yards

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Alva Johnston keeps his yard up to city code.

Past mayors have praised him for his beautiful yard, telling him it makes the city better and prettier.

"When Jean Dean was in [office], she gave me a plaque," says Johnston. "Because I had flowers all the way down through there."

As for people that don't keep their properties in good shape? - "If they don't keep their property up, fine them," says Johnston.

The current mayor agrees.

"We're dead serious, absolutely dead serious about making sure our neighborhoods are clean," says Mayor Steve Williams.

Mayor Williams has proposed an ordinance that takes current building and safety codes a little further.

The ordinance would allow police to issue warnings and fines to people that use their porches as storage units, lounges or home theaters.

"Furniture that is crafted to be indoors does not belong outdoors," says Williams. "Therefore, mattresses can't be on the front porch. Refrigerators don't belong on the front porch."

The same would apply to yards and walkways.

Mayor Williams says scenes like this affect the value or surrounding properties, and they create fire hazards.

For those that don't comply, the fines could go as high as $500.00.

That would be in extreme cases, where property owners do not respond to warnings.

Alva Johnston says he wants the city to have that kind of authority.

"It makes the neighborhood look prettier, and people will want to move here."