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After assessing Buena Vista’s Nuisance Code over the past few months, the board of trustees moved unanimously to approve changes to the ordinance. The board is particularly concerned with vacant residential properties and the health and safety risk they pose to the community. Following a presentation by Grant Bryans, Buena Vista’s Code Enforcement officer, Trustee Mark Jenkins motioned to approve the adoption of the ordinance and Trustee Norm Nyeberg seconded the motion.

The trustees have moved carefully, deliberating various changes and ways to address vacant residential properties, before deciding to smooth the code across the board.

“Our attorney turned around a quick ordinance that I feel, really hit the nail on the head,” said Bryans. “These changes make this code easier to understand. Not only for staff but for citizens.”

The updates to the nuisance code “eliminate the needs to distinguish between residential and non-residential properties,” Bryans said.

The code amendments will also hold unfinished buildings with expired building permits in violation.

The new ordinance “maintains the intent of the current code, but helps deal with situations that have been identified by citizens as well as the board [as problems], such as unfinished buildings,” reads Bryan’s report to the board.

“Basically, if you want to know what a nuisance is, you can look right to the definition –[the code] just lays them out one after another,” said Town Attorney Jeff Parker. “We tried to clarify the definition of refuse and junk, and what constitutes a nuisance.”

The board agreed to the changes.

“The language is great and I’m glad we are kicking this thing down the road.” Trustee Mark Jenkins said though he pointed out that the ordinance is subject to change in the future.

“We have to keep in mind this is a living document, too,” Jenkins said.