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Code enforcement concerns in Neptune Beach

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Updated: 10/14/2013 11:43 pm
NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. -- A prominent political figure in Jacksonville is speaking out, but not about pension problems or the city budget. Former Jacksonville Mayor John Delaney has new concerns about code enforcement at Neptune Beach.

First Street near the Beaches Town Center is a scenic stroll with quaint storefronts. It's a staple for any tourist in town.

But some fear the blooming beauty in Neptune Beach is on a downward spiral.

Just a few blocks away, Action News spotted cars parked in yards, overgrown grass, exposed cable wires and chicken wire stapled to a rickety fence on Third St.

These eyesores recently caught the attention of Delaney who wrote a lengthy complaint to Neptune Beach City Hall calling for more code enforcement.

"A lot of the problem too is we have a lot of absentee landlords who really don't care," said Mayor Harriet Pruette. "They really don't care."

From one mayor to another, both agree the city needs to shell out taxpayer dollars to hire a part-time code enforcement official.

One wasn't readily available July 4 when a partiers packed a deck on First Street. Delaney wrote the collapse could have turned deadly.

Bill Fieldson disagrees with both leaders and said imperfect properties are in every community.

"I think that there's maybe bigger fish to fry," said Fieldson.

The city manager reports there have been more than 400 garbage complaints filed since November. Code violators typically receive a warning and could face a fine if it's not fixed within 10 days.

Pruette says it's up to City Council members now to figure out if hiring a code enforcement official is worth city funding.
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Beach Blanket - 10/15/2013 9:42 AM
0 Votes
Mr. Fieldson's comment about "imperfect properties in every community" was just simply ignorant...there is a HUGE difference between imperfect & "ghetto-trashy", which is how I have heard numerous people describe some of these homes. Does he not understand that ghetto-trashy properties drive down value, not to mention, turn visitors & potential home owners away as they don't want to leave in a trashy neighborhood....please, I am from Chicago, I know what happens to neighborhoods who don't clean themselves up....I have no problem taking on the responisbilities of an enforcement official, where do I sign up?

blondee12 - 10/15/2013 8:40 AM
0 Votes
I'm glad Mr. Delaney brought up these issues - several homes in Neptune Beach are in complete despair and need attention soon. Walking down the streets it's not uncommon to see trash thrown in yards, homes with decks/porches barely that look like they can fall at any second, negligeted yards and homes - it's sad that a community that is this close to the beach allows these type of conditions to exist. We need to take pride in our community, hold those accountable that don't or won't - I mean the end result will be the value of our homes will increase. I'm thrilled and consider myself lucky to live here but think it's high time this community started to STRICTLY enforce the building codes before someone gets hurt or even killed (deck collaspe) - we need a full time building code enforcer - it's time Neptune Beach "prettied" iteself up!!!

RFM2009 - 10/15/2013 7:11 AM
0 Votes
Delaney has a short memory.... The Westside is WORSE. Abandoned and Vacant Homes, Overgrown Yards, Rodent Infested, Hornet, Wasp and Flea infestations can be found on almost every street. The current City Administration's Code Enforcement, Public Works and MAYOR's Office offer nothing but lame excuses as to why these problematic, eye sores and HEALTH HAZards are addressed. Millions for pretty doll-ups for downtown but not a dime for for keeping our City safe and beautiful. Rats bring snakes - Hornet Stings can kill - Fleas transmit diseases and Bubonic Plague. Lastly, the abandoned and vacant homes present valid fire hazards. s going to take a TRAGEDY for action to be taken? Come ON Mayor Brown, get on the ball!!
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