- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - City leaders in Jonesboro have narrowly approved an ordinance that imposes new regulations on how property is maintained throughout the city.

The city council voted Tuesday to approve the adoption of the Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code, a set of rules that regulates the interior and exterior conditions of all buildings in the city.

Mayor Harold Perrin expects the code to go into effect in about two months. The Jonesboro Police Department’s Quality of Life Division will be responsible for enforcing the new standards.

Susan Carter-Riggs, a home health nurse who opposes the ordinance, said there were many ill residents who would struggle to have their homes comply with the code.

Realtor Johnny White urged passage and said he believes the city will help those homeowners with compliance.

Perrin told KAIT8-TV that the new regulations will be driven by reported complaints.

“This is going to be a complaint driven deal. It’s not that we’re going to just go down the road and look at a house. It’ll have to be a call coming in. Once that call comes in, we’ll go and check it out,” Perrin said.

The TV station reports that Councilman Chris Morre amended the proposal in a previous council meeting to state that a homeowner or tenant must give verbal and written agreement before code enforcement can enter their property. If they refuse, code enforcement would have to obtain a warrant to enter the property.

Perrin said “It could be that we have to go down the road and make some amendments to this ordinance but at least it’s a start.”

The mayor says he realizes that the ordinance concerns some people, so he plans on having the city council receive a monthly report on how its results.

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