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City Council approves series of preventative ordinances
November 28, 2018

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Canfield City Council approved several ordinances at the Nov. 21 meeting that were designed to help head off potential problems within the city. Each was explained by City Attorney Mark Fortunato and designed to give the city laws that will prevent unwanted scenarios.

One ordinance amended Section 1139.01 of the Codified Ordinances dealing with businesses. It limits only one business per lot. The idea behind is to prevent transient businesses from setting up to sell something on a lot where another business already exists.

"This will eliminate businesses that try to sell without getting a permit," Fortunaato said.

On the residential side, an ordinance was approved requiring a permanent structure with utility connections available for anyone to legally live on a property. A second ordinance prevented the parking of vehicles on vacant lot.

Fortunato said this simply allows the city to prevent anyone from pitching a tent and living on a lot without building a proper structure. As for the vehicles, he said the ordinance would prohibit a person from living in their vehicle.

Resident Kathryn Young said she feels the ordinances are getting close to taking away a residents property rights. She gave the example of her own property in which she is trying to live more off the land and elements like her solar panels that provide electricity. Her main concern was over being compassionate.

"Does it mean an elderly lady who can't pay her water bill, would get her water turned off and then forced to leave her home?" Young asked.

Fortunato reassured her the ordinance only says must have connections, it doesn't state the person needs the service as well.

Young still felt that the ordinances were dealing with taking away land rights from property owners.

On another issue, Council made appointments and approved the Comprehensive Plan Committee, who will look at proposals from various entities for doing a comprehensive plan for the city. The motion to accept the seven member committee was approved with the following members, Mayor Richard Duffett, City Manager Wade Calhoun, City Councilman Bruce Neff, Design Review nominee Eric Axelson, Planning and Zoning nominee Rachel McCartney, and citizens-at-large Mark Velker and Tom Danko.

In other business:

Approval was given for Calhoun to submit applications and sign contracts for the 2019 Ohio Public Works Commission resurfacing program grant.

Council approved the adoption of the 2017 Ohio Fire Code.

Council created the Canfield Community Joint Economic Development District Agency Fund to handle the funds from the Windsor House JEDD (Joint Economic Development District).

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