Mt Pleasant News

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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 18, 2017

Haynes, council debate nuisance ordinance again

May 03, 2017
Photo by: Brooks Taylor Above, Gary Tedrow, who replaces Bruce Eltrich on the Salem City Council, was sworn in Tuesday night.  Eltrich resigned his council post for health reasons. Tedrow formerly served on the council.

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News


SALEM — A seemingly never-ending dispute between a Salem resident and the Salem City Council gained the most discussion at Tuesday’s Salem City Council meeting.

Dillon Haynes and the city have been at odds for nearly two years over what the city terms a nuisance and Haynes refers to as a business. Haynes had a number of vehicles, vehicle parts and other items on a residential lot in the community, and the council has been after him to get the lot cleared.

Haynes maintains that he repairs vehicles and that most of the vehicles are in running condition.

Last fall, Haynes was given permission by the city council to build what he terms a “carport” to store the vehicles and corresponding parts. However, Haynes has not yet begun constructing the carport because he is unsure whether this will resolve the matter.

During yesterday’s meeting, the council, after some discussion, gave Haynes 90 days to build the carport or face possible action by the city.

City Attorney Pat Brau, however, said that even if the carport is built, Haynes may still be subject to a nuisance violation.

Asked whether Haynes’ property currently constitutes a nuisance, Brau said the short answer is yes. “Junk cars and car parts have to be in an enclosed building,” Brau said. “If you aren’t living on the property, there could be some zoning issues.

“If you can get everything in a garage, you may not be in violation,” Brau continued. “If you are renting the house and build a garage, that would be a zoning issue, not a nuisance issue.”

Mayor Dan Patterson asked when Haynes planned to build the garage and was told soon. “Technically, I am building a carport and adding it to a building that is already there,” Haynes said.

Brau said Haynes could not work on cars in a carport and be in compliance with the city code regarding nuisances. “You might want to look at (possible) issues before you spend the money,” Brau said.

Councilman Chuck Kramer urged Haynes to put the vehicles “inside or get them out. That is all you have to do. …I think most neighbors would be happy if they didn’t have to look at it.”

Brau, in closing another chapter in the dispute, said, “Stuff cannot be out in the open.”

The council accepted a bid from Mike Barton Construction to build new sidewalks in the central park. Barton will do the work for $39,780.

Asked if he would have the work completed by the Old Settlers celebration, Barton assured the council he would. “It will be three weeks from start to finish. I want to get in there soon enough to be done 30 days before Old Settlers. No one here will ever have to worry about the sidewalks in the park anymore,” Barton said.

Council members set a work session for Tuesday, May 9, at 5:30 p.m., during which they will consider hooking up with the Rathbun Rural Water Authority for city water. Councilwoman Mary Hoyer said she recently attended a workshop and was told the city would be eligible for grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help with water problems.

Salem will have spring cleanup May 12-19. The city will use credit money from the Des Moines Regional Waste Commission to finance the cleanup. Hazardous materials, tires, computer equipment, televisions and other technological equipment will not be picked up.

In other agenda items, the council welcomed former councilman Gary Tedrow to the council. Tedrow was selected by the council to replace Bruce Eltrich, who resigned recently due to health reasons. Tedrow’s term expires Dec. 31, 2017, and he would have to face election in November to retain his seat.

Councilman Jeremy Hunold was appointed mayor pro tem by Patterson, replacing Eltrich.

The council meets again in regular session Tuesday, June 6, at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.


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