Yard ordinance closer to law

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On a vote of 4 to 1 with councilman J.R. Richards voting no, the Ottumwa City Council last night approved the second reading of an that will prohibit parking vehicles of vehicles in front yards.  The ordinance specifically prohibits parking in the front yard except in a driveway.   The driveway may be constructed of concrete, asphalt, brick pavers or 4 inches of rock and must comply with the 2015 SUDAS standards.

A number of residents spoke for and against the ordinance.  Former councilman Keith Caviness told the council If you believe the ordinance is viable,I would think you would want to incorporate every word of those exceptions listed by Jodi Gates.  Another resident said the people most effected by the ordinance will be renters.  He agreed with the wishes of the city to want to improve the image of the city.

Resident Michael Shafer said he is a firm believer of the ordinance  and said people imagining things  in order to be against the ordinance  And Marshall Dias a member of the Make Ottumwa Shine Committee urged residents to join the committee and not say no all the time.

City Administrator Joe Helfinberger said we need to have the community look attractive so residents can sale their homes.  He said we need to clean up the community.

Skip Stevens  pointed out the city has several areas that are a mess and said people are moving else where because of unsightly areas.

Council J.R. Richards who cast the only no vote said he has two problems with the ordinance, including he has not received any word on how the ordinance will be enforced.  He also said the two councilmen serving on the Make Ottumwa Shine Committee.

Bob Meyers and Dan Dalby are ineligible to vote because of possible special interests.   Council Mitch Niner noted two councilmen are not city appointed to the committee.