Rock­mart coun­cil hears noise, blight com­plaints from neigh­bors

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By Sean Wil­liams [email protected]­hoo.com

The Rock­mart City Coun­cil will look to ad­dress com­plaints from lo­cal res­i­dents who claim a neigh­bor is be­ing a nui­sance.

A group of cit­i­zens took up their is­sues with the coun­cil dur­ing their Oc­to­ber meet­ing to high­light is­sues with con­stant noise, blight is­sues, and gen­eral nui­sance vi­o­la­tions.

Those is­sues are be­ing looked into ac­cord­ing to city of­fi­cials, and some of them are be­ing ad­dressed within the tech­ni­cal lim­its of Rock­mart or­di­nances.

“We had code en­force­ment go out yes­ter­day,” city man­ager Jeff El­lis said. “It looks like the grass has been cut- I wouldn’t say cut neatly, but it was cut within the pa­ram­e­ters of the veg­e­ta­tion height re­quire­ments. The cars there could be seen tagged prop­erly, I’m not sure about the ones on the jack, but what we’re try­ing to do is de­velop a case for what would be clas­si­fied as a nui­sance vi­o­la­tion.”

While a nui­sance case could po­ten­tially re­solve the is­sue, code en­force­ment would have to prove the owner was be­ing a nui­sance over a pe­riod of time be­fore is­su­ing a ci­ta­tion and en­ter­ing into mu­nic­i­pal court.

“All I can do is have our peo­ple con­tinue watch­ing the area,” El­lis said. “It’s frus­trat­ing, but be­lieve me, there are ar­eas of town that are much worse.”

The Oct. 9 del­e­ga­tion wouldn’t be the first time cit­i­zens have found brought is­sues be­fore the coun­cil over how Rock­mart or­di­nances, ei­ther.

Del­e­gate Wayne San­ders spoke be­fore the coun­cil ear­lier in Au­gust to ad­dress his com­plaints with what he saw as a lax noise or­di­nance.

The town’s noise or­di­nance once fea­tured a 7 p.m. quiet time, but that was later changed to 11 p.m. to bet­ter fit in with the rest of the county. While San­ders felt the orig­i­nal time was best, he felt a 9 p.m. time was ac­cept­able.

“It’s just com­mon sense,” San­ders said dur­ing his Au­gust del­e­ga­tion. “If you live in a city you want quiet time. Prefer­ably at 7 p.m., but I’m will­ing to com­pro­mise with 9 p.m. 11 p.m. is too late. Lots of peo­ple are try­ing to re­lax.”

Mayor Stephen Miller of­fered in­sight into the noise or­di­nance and it’s cur­rent lim­i­ta­tions.

“The city did change the noise or­di­nance- 11 p.m. is the cut off time,” Miller said. “We changed the or­di­nance to match the county, so when our po­lice are called, they wouldn’t be telling some­one out of the city they can’t be do­ing some­thing.”

Since county and city lines are of­ten close and blurred, the or­di­nance was changed to make polic­ing the area eas­ier and more con­sis­tent.

“We also had an is­sue with the fact that Rock­mart High School is in the city,” Miller said. “There were times where the half-time shows at Rock­mart would have to be cut be­cause it would vi­o­late the city’s or­di­nance. It’s a ter­ri­ble bal­anc­ing act that we have to do as city and coun­cil. We try to ac­com­mo­date every­one.”

Those with a par­tic­u­lar opin­ion on any of the city’s or­di­nances should con­sider sign­ing up as a meet­ing del­e­gate or at­tend­ing coun­cil meet­ings on the se­cond Tues­day of each month. The county also sees del­e­gates dur­ing its meet­ings.

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