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City to discuss nuisance provision
City officials to discuss public nuisance ordinance, bond issue, redistricting on Tuesday

Date published: 11/21/2011


At its Tuesday night meeting, Fredericksburg City Council will discuss ways to tame disruptive behavior by students living near the University of Mary Washington.

A memo from City Attorney Kathleen Dooley details a review of existing city ordinances and practices to be discussed at the council's work session before the formal council meeting.

Councilman Fred Howe III spearheaded the effort to create a public-nuisance ordinance after receiving complaints from several of his constituents living in College Heights.

The recommendation from Dooley is to adopt "more robust City Code provisions with respect to general nuisances, trash and weeds, and to work over the next year to better coordinate enforcement."

After reviewing Dooley's recommendation and detailed memo, Howe said it is a good start.

Police provided the following information on calls tracked as "disturbances" from Aug. 15 through Nov. 4.

Total addresses with three or more calls for disturbances: 13. Of those, 4 are in large apartment complexes: The Haven, Heritage Park, Forest Village and The Commons. Of the nine non-apartment addresses, four are college student rentals. Those nine addresses are included on the map below.

Offenses having to do with trash, weeds, noise and alcohol-related incidents have been reported.

The proposed ordinance defines terms such as "nuisance" and "public nuisance," and spells out actions or conditions declared to be public nuisances.

The Fredericksburg Police Department monitored all police calls flagged as "disturbances" where there were repeat responses of three or more to an individual address.

Fourteen properties, both homes and apartments, were labeled "nuisance addresses," according to Natatia Bledsoe, police spokeswoman.

During City Council's regular meeting at 7:30 p.m., which follows the work session, several other issues will be tackled.

The $38.7 million bond issue will be up for approval on second reading. The bond will pay for new courthouse facilities in Fredericksburg.

The council will take action on a plan for redistricting on second reading that will change the ward boundaries and polling places for city residents.

If approved, the plan is expected to be sent to the Department of Justice for approval on Dec. 1.

City staff will seek approval to move the registrar's office and the central office voter precinct from the first floor of the Executive Plaza to the fifth floor.

The owners of Bistro Bethem will seek incentives from the city for a new restaurant on William Street.

Also, the council will discuss its 2012 legislative agenda.

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413
Email: rsidersky@freelancestar.com