New housing regulations requested

Nov 17 2012 - 10:43pm

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CLEARFIELD -- Since 2009, the Davis County Health Department has received 446 housing complaints and 48 solid-waste complaints on area properties.

But as complaints grow, county environmental health officials are still responding to the calls armed with an outdated 61-year-old county health ordinance.

Davis County Environmental Health Services Director Dave Spence recently requested that the Board of Health make a change by adopting a new eight-page housing regulation ordinance that health staff have put together.

"It is one of the programs without a lot of direction," Spence said, introducing to the board the new ordinance addressing everything from rodents to bed bugs.

"It is simple and straightforward," Spence said of the document he wants the board to adopt.

The document gives direction to health staff and the public as to how the health department can respond.

"It would save our division a lot of time," he said.

But before board members adopt the ordinance, they want the 15 municipalities in the county to be aware of it.

Davis County Health Director Lewis R. Garrett said he recommends the proposed document be shared at the Davis Council of Governments meeting in January.

Sharing it with the mayors at the meeting will prevent county health officials from having to present the document before each of the respective city councils.

"We need to make sure we are not overlapping (services)," Garrett said. "I don't believe we are."

A public hearing on the proposed ordinance will be held before the next health board meeting, which is set for Feb. 12.

An exact time and date for the hearing has yet to be announced, said Davis County Health Department Public Information Officer Bob Ballew.

But the hearing will take place at the county health offices, 22 State St., in Clearfield, he said.

Health board members have appointed Don Wood, board member and Clearfield mayor, to serve as the health department's hearing officer for the event.

Spence said the proposed ordinance offers a countywide standard for dealing with public health issues relating to housing concerns, and in no way does it interfere with or replace those respective city ordinances dealing with housing inspections.

The new ordinance notes the inspection of private dwellings can only be conducted by consent of the owner, occupant or by search warrant.

Garrett said, "This gives us a legal basis that this is what we enforce and what we don't enforce."

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