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North Lake residents bothered by nuisance properties

Christmas Valley properties deemed visually offensive and overrun with excessive waste served as a point of contention for a number of northern Lake County residents at a recent meeting of Lake County’s Board of Commissioners.

The Board held a meeting in Christmas Valley on March 19, as one of its quarterly meetings held in the northern portion of the county.

The conversation commenced with concerns from local business owner Sid Robinson, owner and operator of Sid’s Produce, who cited numerous waste-ridden properties as a blight issue against the Christmas Valley community.

Robinson asked what can be done to address some of these properties, one of which he noted has a portable toilet unit in the front yard.

Another site is readily visible from both Old Lake Road and Christmas Valley Highway, in which the property owner unloaded a cluster of double-wide mobile trailer units. Concerns shared by those present included potential safety hazards for children that may wander onto the property.

This particular site is allowed through county zoning regulations to serve as a storage site by its owner, the commissioners said.

Several guests in the audience shared the concern that the nuisance properties do not present a positive image for the community.

Commissioner Brad Winters emphasized the process that is currently in place for addressing these types of situations.  The county’s legal counsel, Jim Bailey, noted that the citizens could help police these situations by actively participating in the nuisance complaint process.

Several guests reported filing complaints in recent years, but received no response following this action.  The commissioners noted that there has been turnover in the facilities and lands manager position in the last year, and that nuisance complaints had been transferred over to the planning department.

Commissioner Winters said that the county’s planning director, Darwin Johnson, has been tasked with putting together a form for reporting zoning offenses so that such incidents may be better tracked.

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