An Appeal for Grace

As raised in the previous special meeting (summary available here: Council Meeting 09/12/2018), on Monday October 1 the Charlestown Common Council will address two ordinances that repeal the Unsafe Building Law and revise and clarify the city’s Property Maintenance Code. The revised Property Maintenance Code allows the city to impose immediate, daily, accumulating fines for property owners found to be in non-compliance with elements of the PMC. While most of us want the city to help ensure our safety and wellbeing, imposing immediate fines rather than giving notice and then allowing a grace period during which an owner can bring a property into compliance is aggressively punitive and unnecessary. 

The existing Property Maintenance Code can be found here: 2018-OR-6

The section that allows for immediate, daily, accumulating fines is 106 in that code. This section remains unchanged in the proposed revision for Monday night.

ring explosion pop art comic designPLEASE call your representatives and let them know if you think that we should be given a grace period in which to make repairs after violations are brought to our attention, prior to fines being applied.

I also encourage you to read the code and honestly ask yourself if your home would pass all of these standards. This code applies to all structures in Charlestown: rentals, businesses, and private residences that are owner occupied. If you own property here, this affects you.

Please ask our council members to work WITH us, not punish us without warning or sufficient notice.

Contact information for your Council Members can be found here: Charlestown Common Council Members

Author: Treva Hodges

Resident of Charlestown, Indiana. Advocate.

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