Some Panama City Residents Are Concerned About Possible City Ordinance

By: Sandra Osborne Email
By: Sandra Osborne Email
protesters

Harrisburg neighbors brought their protests to city hall. They say Augusta needs a chronic nuisance ordinance. (October 6, 2009 / WRDW-TV)

Panama City- City commissioners are considering a new ordinance that would identify residences or businesses receiving five police complaint calls within 30 days, as a “chronic nuisance.”

Not everybody is supporting this proposal.
Panama City Landlord Steve Robinson says many of his rental properties are in a crime ridden neighborhood.

He’s afraid this new ordinance could infringe upon his property rights.

The neighborhood surrounding Mound Avenue has a reputation for criminal activity.
Last August, a woman was found murdered in a home on Mound Ave.
Last week, a man allegedly set his ex-girlfriend’s trailer on fire.
Robinson says he’s called police on his own tenants after suspecting them of selling drugs.

“I’ve cooperated with Panama City police on numbers of occasions and there’s been many calls,” said Robinson.

If city officials deem a home, business, or an apartment a chronic nuisance, the land owner could face a possible fine.

If the land owner does not comply with police after receiving a notice, the case could go to a special magistrate, and the city could vacate, demolish, or otherwise abate the nuisance.

"I've resided here nearly 15 years. I own a lot of property on this street and I'm very concerned about infringements on property rights," said Robinson.

City Commissioner John Kady says the proposal isn’t meant to target property owners, just those who are abusing city resources.

"We really don't have anything to handle issues where businesses or residences are using a high number or large amount of public resources like police force. So, that is what this will address," said Kady.

The ordinance stems from a concern over the impact on downtown Panama City from the large homeless population around the Rescue Mission.

Some residents are urging commissioners to consider other options.

"I don't think it should be based on calls. I think it should be based on some other criteria," said Robinson.

"It isn't like 5 calls and you're out. There's a process where the public can be heard anytime there's an issue," said Commissioner Kady.

Commissioners will likely consider the proposed ordinance during the March 27th meeting.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Leeza Location: Panama City on Mar 15, 2012 at 08:10 AM
    The proposed ordinance is both reasonable and prudent only if it is focused on abating a community nuisance that impacts the public's safety and security. It is not unreasonable for a government to adopt such an ordinance when a property poses a threat to a community's safety and the security of people in that community. What is paramount here is the safety and security of people in a community and the property rights of owners must not contribute to a community nuisance that undermines the safety and security of others.
  • by movethemission dot wordpress dot com Location: panama city on Mar 15, 2012 at 06:03 AM
    Broward, NO this is about local government having the balls to take on an organization that has created an eye sour that has is a direct cause of a decline in property values and increase in police calls in our downtown area. The rescue mission has thumbed their nose at anyone that has expressed concerns, complained or taken issue about the affects that activities have had on downtown. This ordinance levels the playing field. You have a property or business that has a police activity five times or more during a month? Now you can no longer say "so what". This ordinance forces you to blend into your community in a responsible way. There are multiple layers of actions that escalate if the property owner refuses to correct the negative impact they have created. You can do anything you want with your property but you DONT have the right to have a negative impact on your neighbors. movethemission dot wordpress dot com
  • by George on Mar 14, 2012 at 09:51 PM
    30 days shouldn't be the criteria. There could be a temporary problem that takes the property owner time to resolve. On the other hand, repetive problems from the same property shows the owner isn't trying to resolve the problem. We have to realize there is a diminishing population of civilized citizens and there are a lot of slimeballs out there who need a place to live. There's no way the police can keep up with it and before long we'll all have to tote guns if we want to survive.
  • by Joey Location: Panama City on Mar 14, 2012 at 08:09 PM
    Soon we will be told just how maney sheets of papper to use when wiping our butts.
  • by DaveV Location: PC on Mar 14, 2012 at 07:29 PM
    So if you own a business and have to call the police one day about someone, you get a strike against you. If that person tries to come back and you call the police again, that's another strike? I see an easy way to put businesses out of businesses if you want to. If I owned a business around here I would send people over to my competition in order to cause a disturbance and make them call the police over and over in order to make them be forced out of business. Yeah, this is a great law that could never be abused!
  • by broward Location: panama city on Mar 14, 2012 at 06:48 PM
    THIS IS JUST ANOTHER WAY FOR GOVERMENT TO TELL YOU WHAT TODO ON YOUR PROPERTY.WE PAY TAXES ON OUR PROPERTY AS LONG AS WE LIVE THIS IS JUST LIKE OUR FEDERAL GOVERMENT TAKING OUR RIGHTS AWAY.THEY ARE NOT ONLY TELLING YOU WHAT TO DO THEY ARE SAYING YOU'LL DO AS WE SAY OR ELSE...FREEDOM NO MORE IN USA
    • reply
      by Dave on Mar 14, 2012 at 09:35 PM in reply to broward
      That is on the money
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