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Council Approves Updates to Property Maintenance Code

Post Date:08/13/2019

The City of Franklin has undergone a makeover of its Property Maintenance Code in
order to maintain up-to-date provisions essential to the continued safety and sanitation of the
City and its citizens. The City’s Property Maintenance Code is found under Part Thirteen, Title
Seven of the City’s Codified Ordinances. Much of the updated Property Maintenance Code will
not affect the day-to-day lifestyle of our City’s residents. But, several important changes have
been made, and the City would like to point out a few provisions as a reminder.
The Property Maintenance Code is now enforceable against a broader range of people.
Property owners, agents of property owners, and occupants of structures on premises are subject
to the Property Maintenance Code’s provisions. The intent is to ensure property within the City
continuously remains in good condition, should there be a violation, to timely bring any subject
property into compliance.

Furniture that is not specifically intended, designed, built, or manufactured for outdoor
use is prohibited from being located on any outdoor area that is not completely enclosed by glass
and/or screens, covered by a roof, and protected against the weather. Outdoor areas include
balconies, decks, landings, patios, porches, roofs, and yards. The purpose is to increase and
maintain property values within the City, reduce the risk of detrimental effects from mold,
insects commonly found in furniture when left out in the elements, nesting of varmints, potential
fire hazard, and to promote and preserve the quality of life, physical health, and mental health of
the City’s residents.

Weeds and grass now must not exceed 8 inches, instead of 10 inches. It is important to
remember when weeds and grass dry out in the fall it creates a fire hazard.
A 5-day compliance period now applies to violations concerning weeds, inside furniture
used in exterior areas, and garbage and rubbish. Should there be a violation concerning weeds,
inside furniture, garbage, or rubbish, the City’s appointed Code Official will serve the owner,
agent of the owner or occupant with a notice of violation letter. The owner, agent of owner or
occupant will then have 5 days to bring the property into compliance. If the property is not
brought into compliance during that 5-day compliance period, the City is required to prosecute
the violator, and the City is permitted to enter onto the property to cut the weeds, remove the
furniture, or remove the garbage or rubbish. The service costs for the City to remedy the
violation, and an administrative fee of $250.00, will be assessed against the owner, agent of
owner or occupant. Failure to pay the assessed costs and fees within 20 days imposes a $50
penalty. If, during the calendar year, the same property is again in violation of the same weeds,
inside furniture used in exterior areas, garbage, or rubbish provision, the City is not required to
serve the owner, agent of owner or occupant with another notice of violation letter. Instead, the
City may take action without notice to remedy this following violation.

The City will remind citizens annually of the Property Maintenance Code’s provisions
concerning weeds, inside furniture in exterior areas, and garbage and rubbish. The City will, each
February, publish the requirements for compliance with these specific provisions on the City’s
website and the City will communicate this information through a note in utility bills.
Other than the provisions for weeds, inside furniture used in exterior areas, and garbage
and rubbish, which all set forth a 5-day compliance period, the City’s appointed Code Official is
authorized to determine on a case-by-case basis the number of days for a violator to bring the
subject property into compliance, and such will be indicated in the notice of violation letter.
Decisions, notices and orders issued by the Code Official may be appealed. To appeal a
decision, notice or order, simply submit an appeal application on a form available at the City
Building.

When extenuating circumstances get in the way of complying with the Property Maintenance
Code, application for modification can be made by submitting an application form, available at
the City Building, to the Code Official. You may access a full copy of the new Property
Maintenance Code by clicking here Property Maintenance Code 2019.

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