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Panel adopts maintenance regulations

Property upkeep code will not go into effect until April

By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

STRASBURG -- The Town Council voted to adopt the Virginia maintenance code during its Tuesday night meeting.

The property upkeep regulations won't go into effect until April 10.

Code violations are misdemeanors, according to the amendment approved Tuesday. If someone fails to remedy a violation, there is a maximum $50 fine for the initial summons, with no more than $150 for each additional summons, according to the amendment.
The maximum penalty for any one issue is $3,000. Violators can have a trial in Shenandoah County General District Court, or waive trial, admit liability and pay the fine, the amendment says.

The Town Council approved the adoption of the code 6-1 with Councilman John "Red" Hall voting no. Councilman Don Le Vine was absent.

"People that I've talked to are very negative on the maintenance code, and did not even appreciate talking about it, let alone having a vote for it," Hall said.

Councilwoman Sarah Mauck said she'd had trouble with the code because it involves the government telling homeowners what to do with their property. But, she said, 2 percent of the population doesn't follow the rules, and that is why there are laws.

"I would say there's probably only 2 percent of the people that are in compliance," Hall said, adding he is in violation.

Town Manager Judson Rex said the code not going into effect for another four months will allow the Town Council to appoint a code official and an appeals board at the April 10 meeting. It also will give a grace period to homeowners who receive notifications of violation to come up to code.

Rex said the town has met with the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission, and learned there is $80,000 available throughout the region for residents' home improvements.

"A lot of potential violators would qualify for that money," he said.
Hall remained unconvinced.

"That money seems to disappear before you ever get it," he said.


Uhoh! I guess I had better make this my last comment in the NVD. I'd hate to sound critical of some decision made by town officials and be punished by finding myself in violation of the "Code."

By the way, I was planning on planting some tulip bulbs. Does the code forbid any particular color????

I assume the concrete cylinders strewn around the lot across from Rite-Aid are in compliance with the Code?

Way to go Red! Six to one is not very good odds to make a change, but it's a start. That is why I voted for you. I'm tired of the town coming up with a new law every time they meet. It's bad enough to be regulated to death by the Feds. Now the town has to get in on the act.

Well I guess the residents of Strasburg are going to see a large chunk of money have to be dumped on their property to make the Town Council happy.

It might be time for the residents to vote in new members to the Council. How many members on the Town Council are form Northern Virginia area originally. The new law reeks of Fairfax and other northern counties policies.

Thank you so much Red! This was why I voted for you too. I am so glad you proved you are a man of your word. This ordinance as well as the one's before show the council is not concerned with protecting the freedoms that make this town and our country great. Ten years ago Strasburg was voted as one of the greatest small towns in America, but that was when we were free to be ourselves.

The town has done everything in it's power to make Strasburg as unappealing as possible from the tower to no-where to the monument of excess that is across from Food Lion. Why bother the home owners? It would seem there are deeper pockets to go after, but I guess the 'little guy' is easier pickins'

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