Council Set to Strengthen Nuisance Law
In response to growing complaints regarding nuisance activity near and around certain business establishments, the Niagara
Falls City Council is expected to pass an ordinance modifying an existing city law in order to control such activity.
The ordinance is expected to be on next week’s council agenda.
“We’ve been receiving an increasing numbers of complaints from residents regarding noise, loitering, illegal activity and other unwanted behavior taking place in the business districts,” said Councilman Sam Fruscione. “We’re seeing repeat offenders in this regard and this ordinance modification is going to target the problem.”
Chapter 737 Property and Building Nuisance Reform will address “nuisances that substantially and seriously interfere with the interest of the public in the quality of life and total community environment, commerce in the city, property values and the public health, safety and welfare of the people of the city of Niagara Falls and of the businesses thereof and the visitors thereto.”
Noise, littering, fighting, lewdness, uncontrolled dogs, disorderly conduct and violation of the alcoholic beverage control law are some of the behavior targeted for enforcement.
The ordinance will put a point system in place with offenses racking up violation points.
"The ultimate penalty, if required, would be closure of the business,” said Fruscione. “We’re looking for this ordinance to give our police the tools to take control of what has become a bothersome and dangerous situation in the city.”
There are several properties in the city that not only seem to be a locus of criminal activity but seem to encourage it.
A recent Niagara Falls Reporter investigation found that a number of local convenience stores, for instance, openly sell crack cocaine smoking paraphernalia.
Council Chairman Glenn Choolokian noted, “blight and crime continue to pose serious problems for Niagara Falls and it’s only going to get worse unless we take the needed steps to go after the offenders. This ordinance will help do that.”
“It goes to the quality of life in our city, people want to feel safe and comfortable whether they’re walking their neighborhood street or visiting one of the city’s business districts,” said Councilman Bob Anderson. Next week’s council meeting will be held on Tuesday because of the Memorial Day holiday observance on Monday.
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||
May 21, 2013