Thursday, April 7, 2016

Businesses Beware Jonesboro Code

by Danny Johnson: Many people in Jonesboro still think the Property Code, that can levy huge fines, only concerns landlords and rental properties. Others believe it applies only to the exterior. And very few know that all businesses and commercial property will be regulated and possibly fined through the Property Code. All this was done through gradualism, starting with the most promising and least threatening aspects, a favorite technique used by the left.

This gradual process all happened over a period of 30 months, beginning with the six-month moratorium on multifamily rezonings from July to December 2013. That committee chaired by Gary Harpole, made several recommendations, one being "A property management code based on the International Property Maintenance Code." Of course at that time no one but the promoters of it knew what the International Property Maintenance Code was and were not at all suspicious that it would apply to all dwellings in Jonesboro, including interior, exterior, privately owned homes, and all businesses and equipment.

Harpole was appointed head of the multifamily moratorium by the Mayor; Harpole also got all the city laws passed to give us the Greensborough Village and was the overseer of that project. Alderman Chris Moore, who wrote a guest editorial in the Sun promoting the Code in 2015 was the alderman council member that originally proposed the moratorium. Gene Vance, another ardent supporter of the Property Code, was the first alderman to suggest amending it to "all property, including single family residential, commercial and industrial properties."

So for months the Property Code was only about rental (multifamily) property. But now there is probably not a house or business in Jonesboro that would not violate the Property Code and be subject to its fines. "Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served shall be deemed a separate offense." (Up to $500 first offense, up to $750 second offense, and no less than $750 for third offense.)

Businesses would provide the city a more profitable revenue stream through fines than could private citizens. Businesses are also more likely to receive complaints about the Code since Mayor Perrin made the decision to enforce the code based on an anonymous complaint. There are always disgruntled employees or customers that would complain about something that could cause businesses a great deal of expense.

So beware, businesses! You still have a chance to stop it by voting for its repeal on May 10.
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Danny Johnson lives in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Tags: Danny Johnson, Letter for Editor, beware, Jonesboro, property code To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

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