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Culpeper Council says maintenance code proposal needs work
BY DONNIE JOHNSTON
The Culpeper Town Council gave a cool response Tuesday night to a proposal to adopt the Virginia Maintenance Code.
"I do have some problem with what I've read in the ordinance," Councilman Billy Yowell told Planning Director Patrick Mulhern.
John Walsh, Fredericksburg's maintenance director, presented the Town Council with a brief background on how the maintenance code is enforced in his jurisdiction.
Several councilmen bristled when he spoke of going into private homes after complaints.
Councilman Dan Boring expressed concern over how the process would work.
Mulhern said it would likely be complaint-based.
Councilman Dave Lochridge worried about civil penalties.
"It seldom gets to that point," Mulhern said. "We would first send a nice letter [asking that any problem be corrected] and then issue a citation."
"You can make this as aggressive or as passive as you want," Walsh said.
"I'm not sure we need this," Yowell added, citing a property-rights issue.
"Property rights go both ways," said Councilman Jim Risner.
The council also voted to support a "streetscape" plan that is part of OPRE Culpeper's renovation of the old L.R. Waters feed and coal company building on Waters Place.
At issue in the streetscaping proposal was where trees should be planted (the town wants them in the ground, not in boxes); what kind of trees should be planted (the town wants large shade trees in the pedestrian mall); and how large an awning on the building should be.
The top floor of the 1920s-era building has already been demolished, with a new second story planned.