The Mohave County Board of Supervisors on Monday, Oct. 5 voted 5-0 to adopt a new ordinance introducing a more “vigorous” program to address “abatement of properties deemed a public nuisance.”
“This really needs to be addressed and tightened up,” said Katie Manning of Kingman, who spoke in favor of the new ordinance. She said there is a number of properties in Mohave County that will benefit.
“Boy oh boy, it improved things,” she said of a similar ordinance where she lived in California.
“It’s well-written and I’m totally in favor,” said Joy Bancroft of Golden Shores. “It has a lot of details, for example on the expansion of dilapidated buildings. This is way overdue.”
The new ordinance replaced one from 1998 and is now requiring an owner, lessee or occupant of real property in Mohave County to remove rubbish, trash, weeds, filth, debris or dilapidated buildings constituting a public nuisance. It describes the procedure for notice and appeal; provides for the removal of debris by the county and the assessment of the cost as a lien against the property in the event of non-compliance; and prescribes a penalty for the placement of such materials on the property of another.
“It’s about time,” said Chairwoman Jean Bishop, noting the problem has been “huge” for years. She asked Mohave County Director of Development Services Tim Walsh to explain the new program.
Walsh said the board transferred the responsibility for trash complaints from the Department of Public Health to county Development Services, and provided money for both zoning and trash abatement.
The new program adds duties for the Planning and Zoning and Buildings departments, Walsh said. It expands the definition of debris and public nuisance to help identify and determine such conditions. It states that allowing trash, garbage, weeds, filth, debris or dilapidated buildings on property in the unincorporated areas of Mohave County is a violation of the ordinance. “We hope to be more proactive and more efficient,” Walsh said.
As Supervisor Ron Gould of District 5 pointed out, and Walsh confirmed, primary residences are protected from foreclosures by the Homestead Act.