MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon City Council participated in a productive first meeting Monday night to discuss proposed changes to the codified ordinance dealing with residential property maintenance.
While no definitive decisions were made during the meeting, it was clear council has two goals in hammering out details to a new ordinance: Preserve the public’s Fourth Amendment rights and to provide an ordinance that is enforceable administratively and judiciously.
Nancy Vail, 3rd Ward councilwoman and chair of the city’s Zoning and Planning Committee, told council that homeownership is a dream for most Americans and that while a property maintenance code is necessary, it should not violate the Constitutional rights of the citizens of Mount Vernon.
“There are folks that have dreams of accomplishing home ownership, and we certainly don’t want to inhibit their dreams by city regulations,” Vail said. “... We have Constitutional rights and the Bill of Rights, and of course along with that comes responsibility.”
Chip McConville, city law director, guided council through two main areas the legislative body will need to address throughout the process — enforcement and specific requirements.
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