LAKEWOOD, Ohio – Trip hazards, bamboo and noxious weeds are the subject of two new ordinances recently introduced by Lakewood Ward 2 city councilor Jason Shachner.
The first proposes to cap the amount a resident must pay to repair their sidewalk as part of the city’s annual program. sidewalk rehabilitation program.
“I landed on this idea because every spring we would hear from residents who were very surprised with the bills they were receiving,” Shachner said. “There are houses that have more sidewalks than others.
“I had seen estimates as high as $ 14,000 for some properties, which is an unexpected cost for a sidewalk. I thought, why not try to put a cap so people know that when the sidewalks are going to be inspected, they won’t have to set aside more than $ 1,000.
The city councilor said that in some neighboring communities, sidewalk rehabilitation programs are a 50/50 partnership between residents and cities. The idea behind the new ordinance is to offer a more equitable approach, which included not starting any new cost caps until the city has completed its current sidewalk effort.
Lakewood Public Works Director Roman Ducu said the city is now inspecting the last three street sectors (sections 8,16,23) in what has been a ten year project.
“With our 180 miles of sidewalks, Lakewood is one of the most passable towns in the state,” Ducu said. “Each year, certain areas of the city are scheduled for an inspection based on a rotation so that each area of the city is inspected once every 10 years.
“This is for the purpose of keeping our community pedestrian friendly. We are very proud of it.
So far, Shachner said his colleagues on the council have supported the idea.
“We don’t want people to feel like they’ve been cheated or missed out on something,” Shachner said. “And just to be clear, my proposal has limits to be eligible for this cap.
“The property will be an owner-occupied single-family home or an owner-occupied multi-family home with three or fewer units. This way, we are not talking about commercial properties or large apartment buildings. I really want it for the residents who live here in the city.
Lakewood City Council is expected to discuss the sidewalk cost cap over the next month with a vote slated for November.
The other ordinance presented by Shachner bans certain types of bamboo and updates the list of harmful weeds. The push for legislation is linked to a recent appeal from a resident of Ward 2 complaining that a neighbor’s bamboo was infesting his yard and disrupting landscaping.
After calling the construction department, Shachner learned that the city’s current ordinance treats bamboo as a type of grass, which means it is only limited in height.
“The problem with this is that some types of bamboo, like the common bamboo, if not planted properly with certain barriers in the ground, will have root systems that can move much further away from the property of the tree. planter, ”Shachner said. “That is the problem.”
If approved, the proposed ordinance – which is currently in committee – will provide the construction department with the tools necessary to bring about the removal of the uncontrolled bamboo and provide residents with clearer guidance on prohibited plants in Lakewood.
“When I looked at our Noxious Weed Ordinance, I noticed that there were items in this category that are no longer considered a problem plant like milkweeds, which are essential to the ecosystem. monarch butterflies, ”Shachner said.
“So what I did was make our status more state code compliant, because we have a lot of people with pollinator gardens and things like that. “
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