Kure Beach Council Talks Trash Violations By Rental Properties

The Kure Beach Town Council recently discussed rental properties that violate the Town's rules on placing excess trash at the curb side and potential enforcement action. The Kure Beach Town Council recently discussed rental properties that violate the Town's rules on placing excess trash at the curb side and potential enforcement action.

Kure Beach Council Talks Trash Violations By Rental Properties

By / Local News / Wednesday, 28 October 2020 18:21

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

KURE BEACH - The Kure Beach Town Council talked trash during their October 19th, meeting in terms of people not taking their bins from the street and putting excess garbage around those bins at the street. In particular, rental properties.
Mayor Craig Bloszinsky explained, "Garbage at rental properties throughout Town. This month we have had 24 violations on putting garbage cans away. That has nothing to say about the number of violations we have had about people who piled materials, waste, garbage, along side of their garbage bins."
Bloszinsky asked for feedback from Council members on the issue stating, "Because we seem to have some excessive piled garbage. It seems to be a lot of the rental properties. Given that we pride ourselves on the cleanliness of this Town I don't think it's something that we wish to stand, but we do wish to be fair and figure out a way to come to a resolution to this."
Town Building Inspector John Batson said, "That's a constant battle every summer. Years ago we changed trash pickup on Fort Fisher Blvd to Monday. That really helped things a lot. Since then, the rentals on Fort Fisher Blvd have probably doubled, not to mention capacity is greater also. This is a moving target that we are always chasing every single week."
He explained, "Bottom line, when you're renters are switching out every Saturday or Sunday, the first thing they are going to do is throw the garbage out after the cleaning people come. The next group of renters come in and the garbage sits out there all week long waiting on the garbage truck to pick it up. That's not our problem. That's the property owner's problem and that's pretty much why we are taking this fight moving forward in to the season."
Batson said the Town is placing violation stickers on those trash cans that are left at the street beyond the time limit spelled out in the Town's code of ordinances.
He said, "Believe it or not, people do call and say, "What's the problem" so that's worked out pretty well so far." He said after the first three violations the property owner is issued a fine.
He said, "Property owners, many are investment properties for the property owners. I hate to say this, I don't believe they really care how things look as long they get a check every week. Those are some of the issues we've run into over the years. One of the alternatives I've talked to the Town Attorney about was after so many violations, taking [away] the trash cans. I don't know if that's legal or not but that is one thing seems to me, brings about compliance pretty quickly."
Councilman David Heglar said it's a more visible problem this year because an increasing number of people are eating in rather than dining out which creates more trash. He said, "The tonnage is up because people are not eating in the restaurants. The take-out issue is more of a problem."
Bloszinsky said one remedy for property owners is to pay for extra trash bins saying, "Whether they use them or not they will have to pay the pick up fee because they can use them." Also, the fine for violations is $50 per day.
Another option mentioned was for rental property owners to switch to commercial pick up on an increased schedule which would likely be cheaper than paying fines.
Bloszinsky said, "We probably need the realtor companies to make sure that their client's cans are getting in when they are supposed to be in and not sit out in the street, and we need the owners to buy the extra cans or pay the fines."
Batson said it's been a long running issue over the years.
The Town could declare such violators as a nuisance under state law and seek a court order. The cost of the court order could be charged to the property owner in the form of a lien on the property if not paid up front.
Heglar said, "If they needed five cans, they need to be able to store them on their property. That's why this initiative of the properties are the problem, they either need to buy sufficient cans or be fined. Once that starts happening, I hope we tell them here's your options."
Heglar said an escalating fine may be the right answer and get the attention of rental owners.
Bloszinsky said, "We have approximately 450 rental properties. This problem isn't small. That's probably about 25% of the structures in Town, or rental structures. Therefore, I would like to push this off until we have a little time to think about it in more detail. I don't think we can conclude it this evening. But it's a problem that will carry forward here so we can think it through."
Batson said, "I feel like we are effective sometimes more often than not I feel like we are fighting a losing battle."
The Council directed staff and the Town Attorney to explore the issue in more detail prior to the Council's November regular meeting.

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