Thursday May 13 2010
It’s time to clean up our neighborhoods
By: Roger Peterson, guest columnist
Are you annoyed by the untidy condition of foreclosed homes? How about RVs and cars stored in full view or even lawns? Are you fed up with dog owners who allow their animals to mess your yard? And when your neighbor refuses to correct his encroachment on your property, do you wonder why city staff cannot intervene? I’ve lived in Rocklin for 20 years. My street used to be a showcase. No longer. So I am proposing the following new “Good Neighbors Ordinances.” 1. Banks and realty agents listing foreclosed homes or single-family rentals must establish a weekly lawn and yard maintenance program. (Elk Grove has such an ordinance). 2. Placer Disposal dumpsters must be removed after 30 days. (A property on Midas has had a dumpster in the front yard for a year.) 3. Cars may not be parked in back yards, lawns, or off-driveway setbacks. 4. RVs and boats must be kept behind setbacks and may not be moved back and forth between the street and driveway to avoid the 72-hour rule. 5. Except for oil changes, cars and trucks may not be maintained or repaired on public streets or residential driveways. Repairs are restricted to garages. 6. Owners whose trees and tree limbs are an encroachment or hazard to adjoining property must keep such limbs trimmed, either at their expense or by arrangement with the adjoining property owner. Trees that blow leaves or seedpods into adjoining property must be kept trimmed. Trees that fall into adjoining property are the responsibility of the tree owner, both for removal and repair of neighbor’s property. 7. Dog owners must keep dogs on a leash no longer than four feet to maintain control when passing sidewalk pedestrians. Owners must pull the leash to the collar and move their dogs to the street and off the sidewalk to avoid dog contact with pedestrians. (Los Angeles has similar laws.) 8. Dog owners must clean up after their dogs on all streets, sidewalks, parks, or other property. Many cities have such laws; Rocklin does not. 9. Owners of single-family homes who rent out their houses must obtain from renters a signed acknowledgement of all codes pertaining to property maintenance, noise abatement, pets, and parking before such renters may occupy the house, and a copy of such acknowledgement must be sent to Rocklin Code Enforcement. This ordinance affects current rentals. At 6 p.m. May 25, I will appear during Public Comments (first item) of the Rocklin City Council to request a hearing on these ordinances. On May 19, check the news on Channel 4 at 6:30 p.m. for another interview with Jerry Lyons. The council will not act unless you voice your concerns. If we do not act, property values will fall and you won’t be able to tell the difference between Rocklin and Rio Linda. Roger S. Peterson is a Rocklin resident. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.