City council votes to tweak Ottumwa's nuisance ordinance

At Monday night's city council meeting, the Ottumwa City Council approved a nuisance ordinance, but an amendment made in the regulations did not get approved without dispute.

The original ordinance said residents could not park in their front yard without replacing grass with suitable material to park on, but city council member Brian Morgan made the motion for an amendment to allow residents to still park in their yards because not all the alternatives to grass make the city look good. Options that classified as acceptable replacements were concrete, brick pavers, asphalt or rock. Morgan says concrete, brick pavers and asphalt can be expensive, especially the prep work on the area, so that leaves rock for people who can't afford the other options. Morgan pointed out there's already an ordinance in place where the health department can tell you that you need to get your yard re-established or grass planted, and that he agreed with the rest of the ordinance.

â??It passed on a 3-2 vote,â?? Morgan said. â??I know Councilman [Mitch] Niner was really for not allowing parking in the front yards and J.R. Richards also voted no on it, so the amendment passed on a 3-2 vote, but the overall ordinance ended up passing on a 5-0 vote, so we were all on board with the majority of the ordinance. They didn't agree they thought there should be no parking in the yards, and that's fine.â??

For more information on the cityâ??s nuisance regulations click here.