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Jasper County commissioners pass law banning junk... - KOAM TV 7

Jasper County commissioners pass law banning junk from front yards

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Updated April 30, 2013 at 10:55 AM CST:  Jasper County commissioners pass a law banning junk from front yards.  It's a nuisance ordinance targeting trashy neighborhoods in the county.

Commissioners considered the law after receiving numerous complaints of broken vehicles, trash and broken furniture visible to the public.

After today's public hearing the county voted to implement the ordinance.

Once cited, violators will be given time to take care of the problem.

We'll hear from the commissioners and residents against the decision tonight on KOAM News at 5.

Reported April 10, 2013 by Liz Holliday:  Broken down cars, old furniture and piles of junk may be a neighborhood eye sore, but is it a private property right?  The Jasper County commissioners are looking into an ordinance that would ban all junk deemed a 'nuisance', even from private property.

"We don't let people run their sewage out on top of the ground and so we do become involved," says Norman Rouse, the attorney for the Jasper County commission.

Rouse says cities such as Joplin and Carthage already have similar ordinances for their residents but there is not anything on the books for the more rural portions of the county.

Rouse says it has presented health problems in the past.

"We have some problems with swimming pools, get abandoned with mosquitos, and people falling in them, and we have mobile homes that are abandoned, that can create rat infestations, so it's really a health issue," says Rouse.

According to the first draft of the proposed ordinance, those properties the county deems a public health hazard or public nuisance could authorize the health director to order cleanup, with the ability for property owners to appeal to the commission.

But before commissioners give the draft another look they are wanting to get some feedback from residents.  Commissioners say they hope residents will help define what constitutes a nuisance, and that the commission is set to review the draft again at it's next meeting.

The county commission says the ordinance is based off a similar one on the books in Boone County.

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