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Home upkeep rules may change in Farmington

Failure to finish an exterior housing project could lead to misdemeanor charges against the homeowner if a new city code amendment is approved by the Farmington City Council.

That approval may be a few months off yet, but negligent homeowners may want to start those siding projects sooner rather than later because they'll be charged if the new property maintenance code gets the nod from council members.

Farmington assistant city planner Tony Wippler introduced the code language at Tuesday's Planning Commission meeting. It was, he said, the first step in the process of receiving comment and restructuring content. Farmington City Council members have asked for rules regarding property maintenance, and the code presented this week will fill that request.

The code language designates the city's building official as the responsible authority when it comes to determining whether homeowners are being negligent in the upkeep of their property. Should the building official determine a home is in violation of the code, he or she will send a notice, in writing, to the homeowner. A correction order will be included, as well as a timeline for the work to be completed.

As presented this week, the code would make it a misdemeanor if the homeowner did not complete the designated work within the timeline given by the city's building official. Additional offenses could be added for each day the homeowner continued to neglect the work.

Wippler said there are nuances to the code that will still need to be worked out through the planning commission or the city council.

"We've been working as a staff to get something in place everybody can agree on. That's one of the main challenges with this type of code," Wippler said. "I want them to have the opportunity to review it, find what they like and find what they don't like so I can get a better understanding of what they want to see in the code."

The code addition will fall under the city's residential performance standards.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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