By Elisha Dorfsmith
At their January 8th work session meeting, the Flagstaff City Council officially decided to no longer pursue a property maintenance ordinance (PMO) for Flagstaff.
In December, 2011 the Flagstaff City Council unanimously supported a PMO for Flagstaff residents and passage seemed inevitable. But public outrage, along with the election of a new mayor and two new council members in May forced city staff to put on the brakes.
After Tuesday’s meeting, Flagstaff councilman Jeff Oravits issued the following statement on his facebook page:
“Protecting private property rights is very important to myself and so many residents of Flagstaff. As a strong private property rights advocate I have been against the City of Flagstaff adopting a Property Maintenance Ordinance (PMO) and tonight, a majority of Council agreed and the PMO will no longer be pursued. Council did propose using existing code to address the most egregious cases of unrepairable properties in order to limit blight in our community but I raised strong objections to using the code as it is currently written. I argued that we must amend the existing code which contains very broad and vague language which in my opinion gave too much authority and discretion to the building department. Council agreed and we will work on amending the existing code to ensure private property rights are protected while also addressing the most serious of issues.”
Concerned Flagstaff Residents attend a PMO meeting at Flagstaff City Hall in March, 2012.