November 23, 2014


Lorain Council to consider nuisance abatement ordinance

LORAIN — A small group of criminals are traditionally responsible for the majority of crime in communities and the same is true for residents responsible for nuisance violations.

City Council members are trying to punish the offenders or landlords with a new nuisance ordinance. The proposal discussed by Council on Monday, would fine property owners if firefighters or police are called to a property more than five times in one year for nuisance activities.

The cost would be calculated by the hourly wages of the city employees involved with abating the nuisance plus 75 percent and multiplied by the hours taken for abatement. If contractors are needed for abatement, their costs would be added into the fine.

Council last month approved an ordinance fining business or homeowners for having more than three false alarms at their properties within a year.

The goal of the ordinances is to improve quality of life and maximize fire and police resources. Police responded to 58,835 calls last year up 8 percent from 54,402 in 2011.

Police spokesman Lt. Roger Watkins said Tuesday that too many calls were to the same residences for non-emergencies.

“It would allow us to be more proactive,” Watkins said of the ordinance.

Mayor Chase Ritenauer said statistics show in one case, police were called between 35 and 50 times to the same home within a year for non-emergency calls. Ritenauer said officers are familiar with the homes where bad actors live, but can do little beyond arresting them or warning them. He said chronic offenders, “put the people who need the police for emergency purposes in a tough position.”

The ordinance — modeled after one in Shaker Heights — is expected to be voted upon July 22. Ritenauer stressed the proposal won’t effect most property owners, only those responsible for the bad behavior.

“The hope is it will dissuade that kind of behavior,” he said. “Not only does it drain police resources, it can ruin a neighborhood.”

Nuisance abatement

A proposed nuisance ordinance would fine property owners if firefighters or police are called to a property more than five times in one year for nuisance activities. Activities defined as nuisances include:

  • Animal violations, such as barking dogs, roaming dogs or vicious dogs
  • Disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace
  • Fireworks violations
  • Drug use or prostitution
  • Assault, child endangerment or weapons violations

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or

  • Joe Smith

    So they are going to punish landlords? How about punishing the criminal?

    • Americaschild

      city of lorain–dumb government

    • onlyinlorain

      This is simple. Landlord adds clause in lease that if the property is found to be a nuisance property, the tenant has to cover the cost. If tenant does not cover the cost that is a breach of contract, they get kicked out.

  • Phil Blank

    I thought this was already settled last month?

    • Americaschild

      government takes years and years!!! to come up with anything

  • Americaschild

    What is this city NOT thinking? So if a tenant kills someone in a landlord’s/owner’s house–the city is charging the landlord for the murder???GOVERNMENT–who is the idiot who thought of this one^%#@!

  • onlyinlorain

    Apparently none of you have ever lived next door people like my old neighbors:

    *parties 4 to 5 times a week from spring – fall

    *fights at at least half of these

    *half of the fights are fist fights

    *some of those are domestic violence type fights

    *underage drinking!

    *oh drugs, cool!

    *elementary age kids literally running around outside at 1am

    *elementary age kids literally running around outside at 4am.

    *sometimes while there are fights, someone kicks the dog

    *music playing full blast literally all hours of the night

    Call the police so many times, they don’t even bother coming anymore. Move out of a house you have lived in for SIX YEARS because you miss sleeping and hanging out in your own yard.