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West Point discusses noise ordinance

At the first of two work sessions before its next meeting, the West Point City Council discussed the disorderly House Ordinance Amendment the city is considering adopting, as well as a new personal care center.

All of the items that were on the agenda will be discussed again on Oct. 8 and then voted on at the next meeting on Oct. 12.

The ordinance the city is considering is based off a similar ordinance that the city of LaGrange has already adopted.

The ordinance will amend section 35-1-7 of the city’s code. It reads as follows:

It shall be unlawful for any person to keep a disorderly house, where noisy or riotous persons assemble to the common annoyance and disturbance of citizens in the neighborhood.

It shall also be unlawful for any owner having control over a house to permit the use of same as a disorderly house as described in this section; provided, however, before charging under this subsection written notice shall be provided to the owner, giving fair notice of this subsection and the conduct proscribed thereby.

Each violation of this section shall be considered as a separate and distinct offense.

Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of no less than $500.”

“This is not a one time deal,” Council Member Gerald Ledbetter said. “There are several houses that have been problematic for years, and we’ve lacked the ability to fully engage and help the people that deserve and are demanding a certain amount of peace and tranquility in their neighborhood. I would like to view this proposed ordinance as something that would empower landlords.”

The council also began discussions about a personal care center. The care center would be located at 1009 3rd Avenue.

“Personal care homes are limited to six occupants. It will be taking the building that is in a transition area, and it is also one of the needs for the city in the survey for the housing market,” Community Development Director Dennis Dutton said.

As of now, residents are not permitted to live on the first floor in the central business district, which is where the care center would be located.

The council would be voting to approve the living of residents on the ground floor, which the council has allowed in the past.

If approved by the council in a couple of weeks, D & M Personal Care Center, LLC would need to update the building in question to meet city and state codes for a personal care home.

“It seems like a good fit and a good use for that building,” Council Member Gerald Ledbetter said. “I’ve watched that particular building go down for some time now, and I think it’s great that someone is interested in it and willing to take it on and make it a useful, contributing part of our downtown area again.”

If the council gives permission to D & M Personal Care Center, LLC to have residents living on the first floor, the center will be able to start on its renovation project. The first step would be an application to the Health Care Facility and Regulation Division in the state of Georgia.