Montesano City Council Passes New Maintenance Code: ‘Welcome to the Gulag, Komrade’?

Public domain image
Public domain image

The Montesano City Council voted to adopt a really, really cool new maintenance code at last night’s city council meeting (yes, I’m being facetious).

As reported by KBKW, the council voted to adopt the International Maintenance Code on a 5 – 2 vote “as a possible means of combating derelict buildings.” Council members Pam McElliot and Chris Hutchings voted no. The topic was discussed at previous council meetings, but the new ordinance wasn’t officially approved until last night. Oh, happy day!

According to KBKW:

“The new code sets more standards than just defining derelict buildings though, like how tall you can let your grass grow, how big your rooms need to be, and where you can work on your cars – only in the garage by the way.”

I’m just dying to know who gets to prowl Montesano, ready to pounce on over-tall grass. Whatever that is.

But wait. There’s more:

The new codes lay out rules for just about every aspect of maintaining your home, including requiring screens on every window and door that access food prep areas, deadbolt locks on every external door, and fresh paint on every external surface. No graffiti, either willfully or wantonly (their words) on any external structures. All swimming pools that are more than 2 feet deep need to be fenced in with self-closing gates. Handrails are now required on every flight of stairs higher than the fourth step.”

Oh, and you can’t sleep in your kitchen. In case you’re wondering.

Here’s an idea: If “combating derelict buildings” is the name of the game, why not locate, identify and “combat” those specific, individual buildings on a case-by-case basis? Why the “shotgun” approach?

Another “happy day” tidbit: “The ordinance also gives the ‘code official’ responsible for enforcing the new rules right-of-entry to inspect possible trouble-homes with proper notification.”

No doubt there’s a perfectly valid rationale for all this great stuff. No doubt there’s a perfectly valid rationale for all this great stuff (that’s not a typo). Meanwhile, I gotta ask: how and who gets to cite would-be kitchen nappers?

Maybe we can sell tickets?