Cape Girardeau Modifies Nuisance Ordinance Proposal

Oct 8, 2013

The City of Cape Girardeau is making a few changes to its proposal to curb nuisances.

City staff has been developing a new ordinance that will tackle graffiti, inoperable cars, certain items that are stored out in the open and criminal nuisance properties. It also defines open storage of items like broken bottle, cardboard, machine parts, water heaters or furniture that is manufactured for indoor use as a nuisance.

At the City Council’s Monday night study session, city manager Scott Meyer said the city will not keep a registry of vacant buildings. That decision came after the city received public input.

“They pointed out that it may be cumbersome to do and cumbersome for realtors and homeowners and business owners,” Meyer said.

Councilmember Mark Lanzotti suggested the city eliminate a $125 minimum fine for nuisances because property owners do not choose to put graffiti on their buildings. The council choose to recommend a minimum $125 fine for littering only, because it is a willful nuisance violation.

“I think we have a good sense of what the council wants to accomplish. It’s just finding the right words to do the right things with the law so that we can have the right outcome,” Meyer said.

Meyer said the city is working on language that defines a criminal nuisance, which would be a property where criminal activity occurs.