Source: FOX News
MASSAPEQUA PARK, N.Y. -- A New York village's new law allowing homeowners to be fined up to $10,000 for letting their property get shabby could be the wave of the future for communities around the country as they battle sinking property values and rampant foreclosures.
Home and business owners in Massapequa Park, Long Island, face five-figure fines and even up to 15 days in jail for such maintenance issues as overgrown lawns, broken windows and graffiti. And while some say the new law -- which passed unanimously Monday -- is classic governmental overreach, Mayor James Altadonna told FOXNews.com that a "number of other municipalities" are considering similar measures.
"It was really out of frustration in trying to get banks to maintain [foreclosed] properties, so we wanted to craft a law that would be significant enough to get the attention of the banks," Altadonna said. "We're willing to work with anyone who will respond to us and maintain their property. These fines are only for the most egregious."
And like those in Mount Pleasant, S.C., and now Massapequa Park, N.Y., the Birmingham, Ala., suburb of Pelham also enforces a local ordinance pertaining to unfavorable appearances at buildings or establishments.
"Said premises shall be maintained in such a condition so as not to constitute an eyesore or unfavorable appearance or dangerous condition, including any unpainted, decaying or unused automobile or other vehicle, or rubbish or any other condition offensive to the appearance of said premises," according to city code.
At least two people this year have spent time behind bars for failure to maintain their properties. In January, a woman in Mount Pleasant, was sentenced to 10 days in jail after failing to pay a $480 fine for having a messy yard. Linda Ruggles, 53, ignored court appearances connected to the fine and was eventually sent to jail, the Post and Courier of Charleston reported.
A month later, a Florida man was reportedly sentenced to a year and one day in jail after he failed to remove junk from his front yard as part of conditions of his probation connected to illegal dumping charges.
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One of the major signs are cafe au lait spots (flat brown spots on the skin).
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CLICK PHOTO FOR MORE INFO!