Marietta officials talk property maintenance code

MARIETTA — Marietta City Council’s Planning, Zoning and Annexation Committee met Thursday to go over a 20-page draft for a new property maintenance code for city buildings.

The draft was the product of 10 months of work by the appointed ad-hoc code committee Councilwoman Sarah Snow and Council President Josh Schlicher tasked at the close of last year with researching, compiling and tweaking property codes from similar sized cities and tailoring the suggested regulation to fit the needs of Marietta.

“You have the product of the committee,” said Jon Grimm, chair of the ad-hoc group. “This is the best substitute for the existing code, but we’re not lawyers and this is not intended to be the final legislation.”

City Law Director Paul Bertram called the document a good framework to hone in on specific wording for consistency with existing city laws. Snow said in the coming weeks she will work with Bertram and the city’s Code Enforcement Official Wayne Rinehart to fine tune the document and go over concerns noted by council members.

“This allows us to start the process of the blight problem,” said Bob Forbes, who served on the ad-hoc committee. “This is a good first step to rescind the (International Property Maintenance Code) and begin to address the need.”

The draft focuses solely on exterior standards for residential, commercial and industrial properties within the city, steering clear of interior requirements at this time.

“The committee doesn’t believe that we were prepared to provide regulation for interior,” said Grimm. “Many of our conversations went back and forth on just the needs of exterior and we thought that was where our efforts were best focused.”

The draft outlines standards of care for foundations, exterior walls and surfaces, windows, exterior doors, roofs, gutters, chimneys, porches, structural supports, exterior surfaces, basement entrances and surrounding drainage, decorative features, new paint and coating materials, fences and exterior property walls, yards, storage, drainage swales, junk, inoperable and unlicensed vehicles, outdoor furniture, off-street parking, trailers and recreational vehicles, vegetation, stairways and accessory structures.

Copies of the draft may be made available upon request to Marietta City Council’s Clerk Nancy Johnson, but additional drafts are forthcoming according to Planning, Zoning and Annexation Committee Chairwoman Sarah Snow.

“My intent is to not let this die before the end of this council,” she said, indicating her hope to have a new property maintenance code on the city books before Dec. 31.

Additional meetings to discuss changes to the code will be posted on the city’s online calendar, mariettaoh.net/index.php/calendar.

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