River Hills creates ordinance to handle chronic nuisance properties

July 18, 2013

The River Hills Police Department will now have enforcement authority over residents whose properties are deemed a chronic nuisance, village officials decided Wednesday.

Village Attorney William Dineen said though there are few issues with properties in the village, the chief of police asked him to draft an ordinance that gives the police department the authority to deal with premises that have recurring issues. Dineen drafted a similar ordinance for Shorewood.

According to the ordinance, any property that generates three or more citations by the police department, building inspector or health department for "nuisance activities" in one year authorizes the chief of police to take action. The chief of police can then issue a notice requiring the property owner to come up with a plan to curb the problems.

If they do not comply with the "nuisance abatement plan," the property owner can be issued a citation, according to the ordinance. The citation amount is based on an assessment that determines how much it cost the village to continuously visit the property.

There are 18 items listed in the ordinance that would be considered "nuisance activity." This includes an act of harassment, disorderly conduct, battery, lewd behavior, violation of village codes, and alcohol violations.

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