Town's nuisance-call problem to be taken up by committee

April 28, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A Union Bridge committee will look into the problem of repeated nuisance calls to the police after a proposed ordinance that would have fined property owners met with near-unanimous opposition.

Rather than voting on the ordinance, the Town Council approved Mayor Bret D. Grossnickle's naming of a six-member committee of council members, landlords and residents at its meeting Monday night.

The committee has been asked to review the proposal and the problem that led to it: repeated calls to the same addresses for complaints such as loud music, drinking, arguing and fighting, Grossnickle said. The mayor asked the committee to report back June 21.

The proposed ordinance withered under criticism from an overflow crowd of more than 50 people at a March 22 public hearing. Critics raised concerns ranging from the constitutionality of the measure to its possible misuse by petty neighbors. The proposal referred only to "excessive" calls, without defining their nature, and set forth a mechanism to impose fines after two calls.

Many speakers at the March 22 meeting thanked town officials for attempting to deal with problem apartment buildings in the town of about 1,000.

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