Johnsburg rental properties focus of proposed change to nuisance ordinance

JOHNSBURG – Rental property owners could find themselves in trouble if their properties become the site of multiple crimes.

The Johnsburg Village Board will consider the addition to Johnsburg’s nuisance code as well as a few other ordinance changes at its meeting Thursday evening.

Under the proposed ordinance, a property could be declared a nuisance if it is the site of two or more violations, including sexual abuse, assault, disorderly conduct, drug dealing and public indecency, Police Chief Keith Von Allmen said.

“With this addition to our nuisance ordinance, it puts the notice on property owners that this isn’t acceptable,” he said.

Von Allmen added there wasn’t a specific trigger for the change, but the department has had issues with rental properties.

Rental properties in Johnsburg are mostly houses. There is one apartment complex.

Trustee Rich Janusz, who owns rental properties in the village, had some questions at first, but once it was discussed, he thought it
made sense.

Janusz chairs the Ordinance Committee, which gave unanimous approval to the proposal as well as six other ordinance changes the committee looked at over the summer.

All of the ordinances will come before the Village Board for a first look at its meeting Thursday. They will be voted on at a subsequent meeting.

An ordinance targeting overgrown lawns shortens the time the village has to wait before it can take action to five days from 10. It also shortens the height to 6 inches from 8 inches.

“A lot of it’s got to do with foreclosures and vacant properties, and there are certain areas where people don’t care to maintain their yards as much,” Janusz said.

Other area villages, including Lakemoor, also have taken the step in an effort to address foreclosures.

The change might translate into more notices, more follow-ups and more work for staff, he said, but it also means the issue can be taken care of quicker.

Tobacco use would be prohibited on all village property, not just in and near the entrances of village buildings, under another proposed ordinance.

Another proposes adding a fine for dogs caught running at large, an attempt to address residents’ concerns that the problem seems to be increasing, Janusz said. The fine would be $100 for first offenses and $200 for subsequent violations.

The other ordinance changes would bring village code into compliance with state law and deal with technical issues.

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