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Council updates codes, approves new rule, permit

Student, father recognized for community service

Christopher Hemphill of Hampton was recognized at the March meeting of Lovejoy City Council for helping clear debris from the roadways in the city during the aftermath of winter storms. (Special Photo)

Christopher Hemphill of Hampton was recognized at the March meeting of Lovejoy City Council for helping clear debris from the roadways in the city during the aftermath of winter storms. (Special Photo)

LOVEJOY — City Council has approved an ordinance that grants Lovejoy authority to regulate right-of-way responsibilities.

The ordinance gives city agencies the power to enforce municipal codes when it comes to property owner maintenance of right-of-way space. It effectively extends owners’ property maintenance responsibility to the curb.

Mayor Bobby Cartwright said the rule, an unspoken courtesy by most residents, was made necessary when officials noticed some vacant lots were trimmed but only up to about 15 feet from the curbside. He said the owners would argue they were not responsible for property in the right-of-way zone, and therefore, were not responsible for maintaining it.

The decision was made unanimously during council’s Monday meeting.

Members also agreed on updating Section 18 of city codes pertaining to technical and building regulations.

Officials said Section 18 is amended periodically to adhere to industry changes and was last updated in 2009.

Council accepted a request for rezoning with a conditional-use permit for Land Lot 155 of the sixth district. Council annexed the 77-acre lot, owned by GEO Group Inc., into the city in February to be used for a new detention facility.

Members approved the application to rezone the property from “high industrial” to “general business” with the conditional-use permit.

Cartwright said the permit is subject to council’s annual review as well as any city fees attached.

Honors, recognitions

Council ended the meeting by recognizing a high school student and his father, and honoring the city police department.

Hampton resident Christopher Hemphill and his father, Dave, were recognized for helping clear debris from the roadways in Lovejoy in the aftermath of the last winter storm.

Hemphill, a sophomore Luella High Navy JROTC cadet, also saved the city’s fallen flag pole downtown, said Cartwright.

The mayor said the student was not alone in efforts to make roads passable.

Lovejoy’s police department was out making sure families were safe throughout the winter storms.

Cartwright thanked the police force for patrolling the city during the inclement weather.

Police Chief Mark Harris, in turn, thanked his officers.

“You not only make the city look good, but you make me look good,” said Harris. “It’s good to see people work together. I really appreciate that, and thank you.”