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First reading passes to prohibit permitted Sunday construction

By Bryce Abshier – Contact

(Thoughts? Submit a letter to the editor here.)

At a recent meeting of the Belleview City Commission, the first reading of Ordinance 2023-17 passed by a measure of 4-1. This ordinance will make permitted construction prohibited inside of Belleview city limits on Sundays.

The idea of prohibiting permitted construction on Sundays has been kicked around by the commission for several weeks. Some Belleview residents have expressed their displeasure with noisy weekend construction on their only days home from work. However, enforcement of such an ordinance, along with other challenges, has led to much debate by the commission.

“One of the concerns that I have is enforcement,” explained Belleview Mayor Christine Dobkowski. “I realize that if we pass this ordinance, the developers are going to be informed of the new rules. However we can’t guarantee that they’re all going to follow that.”

“So that leaves us with a Sunday, with no Code Enforcement officer,” Dobkowski said. “When the rubber meets the road, enforcement is going to be the issue. So in the interest of less government and protecting personal property rights… I’m probably not going to vote for this.”

Commissioner Mike Goldman replied with an opposing view. “I use the exact same criteria when I say things like I will vote for it,” said Goldman. “I should be able to enjoy my personal property and we’re not talking about lawnmowers, and we’re not talking about house painters. We’re talking about permitted construction,” said Goldman. “I don’t necessarily want at 6:30 on a Sunday morning to hear the concrete truck roll up next door because my neighbors pulled a permit to have their driveway done when it could have been done during the week.”

Some on the commission saw the rapid growth of Belleview as a need for action.

“It could get bad. Especially as we get more and more developers and we’ve already had one person come in who is not even a citizen complain about just the sheer volume of noise,” Commissioner Goldman explained.

The first reading of this ordinance passed by a measure of 4-1, with Mayor Dobkowski as the one vote opposed.

In other matters discussed by the Belleview City Commission:

Livsey Wants To Remedy Roadside Trashcans

Commissioner Ron Livsey is continuing a crusade to solve Belleview’s roadside trashcan dilemma. “We want our city to look nice, and I don’t think garbage cans lined up on our streets makes our city look nice,” explained Livsey.

This issue had been discussed at an earlier Belleview City Commission meeting, where a proposed ordinance failed to pass. In the proposed ordinance, trashcans would have been required to be removed from the roadway by 8:00 am on the day following collection. Even though that ordinance failed, Livsey is pressing forward. “I’d like to have an ordinance saying that they have to remove them, at least after a day. I don’t think that’s asking too much for our residents to do,” Commissioner Livsey said. “We now have code enforcement every day of the week, so it can be looked at. Sunday I ran out, just through Coral Ridge, there were 36 of them out there. That was on Sunday, our pick-up is on Thursday,” Livsey explained to the commission.

Livsey’s plea for help did not gain any traction with his fellow commissioners. Among the concerns cited by others on the commission, enforcement seemed to be the biggest issue with crafting another trashcan ordinance.

“We have a million laws on the books, and just because we have the law doesn’t mean people are going to follow it,” said Mayor Christine Dobkowski.

(Thoughts? Submit a letter to the editor here.)

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