Home > Elected Officials, Flagstaff Liberty Alliance, Food, Libertarian, Nanny State, New Media, Politics > Flagstaff Nanny* Council Moves Forward With Proposed PMO

Flagstaff Nanny* Council Moves Forward With Proposed PMO

By Elisha Dorfsmith

The Flagstaff City Council unanimously decided to move forward with a proposed property maintenance ordinance at tonight’s city council meeting. The PMO is the pet project of councilwoman Coral Evans who said she hopes to see the property maintenance ordinance completed and ready in 6 months or at least by the end of 2012.

Zoning Code Administrator Roger Eastman started the PMO discussion by referencing the International Property Maintenance Code. He explained that last time they looked into a PMO the council said that they wanted to stay out of building interiors. He said the city would like to see the PMO include existing rules and codes and also cover things like roof repair, graffiti, overgrown vegetation, peeling paint and fence repair. Rules for animal keeping should also be part of the ordinance.

Mr. Eastman suggested that the City may want to offer money or loans to people who cannot afford to comply with the PMO. Money to help homeowners fix their roofs, fences, etc. He didn’t say where the money would come from.

Councilman Al White said he was concerned that the PMO could outlaw home gardens. That seemed to be his only concern and he went on to say that they need to include very stiff fines for violators in the PMO. Later in the evening he suggested that fines from violators could help fund enforcement.

Councilman Art Babbott admitted that the PMO will probably go above and beyond health and safety and he said the council will have to decide just how far they want to go with it. Mr. Eastman said that they should come up with specifics. For example, they could include a rule that says if vegetation goes over a certain height it would be a violation.

Councilwoman Evans said that they need a PMO for trees that are a fire hazard. She talked about a house in Southside that had trees falling over in a neighbor’s yard. She said that people also need a PMO to maintain their property values.

At the end of the meeting,  Mayor Sara Presler said that she is pleased to see everybody (council and staff) rowing in the same direction toward a PMO. Even Councilman Scott Overton who had previously had reservations about a PMO said that he was on board and ready to push ahead.

As you may know, I have been opposed to a PMO from the start and I will continue to fight this every step of the way. There are already tons of laws on the books that protect people from health and safety hazards. There are already laws on the books that say our yard cannot be a fire hazard to our neighbor’s house.  The city does NOT need to start micromanaging our property to the extent that if we have some flaking paint we face huge fines. If people want to deal with those kinds of rules they can do so voluntarily by moving into an area with an HOA.

If you have concerns about the upcoming PMO, please contact the Flagstaff City Council and let them know what you think. You can find their contact info HERE.

*Click here for the definition of “Nanny State”.

Height restrictions for vegetation could make sunflowers, corn and other tall plants illegal in the City of Flagstaff if a PMO is approved.


  1. Joy Staveley
    December 6, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    This is ridiculous. What is the next step? How do we know what they will include. Can we give testimony?

  2. December 6, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    The council will be looking for public comment in the coming months. F3, the Chamber, realtors, and others will be asked for their input. At this point, if enough of us push back, we can keep this ordinance from getting too crazy. I’ll post updates as things progress.

  3. Nancy
    December 7, 2011 at 7:02 am

    People are struggling to put food on the table, working multiple jobs, and the city wants to fine them for not painting their house? Do they know how much is costs to hire someone to paint your house? Do they know what paint costs?

  4. December 7, 2011 at 7:26 am

    oh come on, the city of Flagstaff in its infinite wisdom can redistribute your money better than you can.

    Good grief! Do you still want to live there?

  5. C Daschete
    December 10, 2011 at 8:57 am

    another example of why I left

  6. ann marie
    December 12, 2011 at 9:48 am

    So, a PMO is a HOA for a City?

    • SlimStrontem
      March 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      An HOA with Agenda 21 overtones, thank you very much!

  7. December 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    dear god, will this shit never stop? Seriously, do our public servants really have nothing better to do than tell us how tall our shrubs can be? THIS ANGERS ME and they’ll hear about it, but of course, nothing will change, because government’s number one goal is to continue to employ it’s employees, even at the detriment of the people it’s supposed to help…ugh.

  8. C Daschete
    December 16, 2011 at 10:13 am

    that idiot who used to run the continental central planning bureau will most likely be appointed to this govt position.

  9. Ken
    December 21, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I am generally opposed to HOAs, including in this form. I do not have a problem regulating fire hazards, though; if my neighbor’s house is at higher risk of catching fire, so is mine. Perhaps there are already laws on the books addressing this–does anyone know?

  10. December 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Yep, there are several laws on the books protecting people from fire hazards and other health and safety concerns. But even with those laws on the books, the city rarely enforces them. They say they don’t have the money and resources to do it. I always find it funny how politicians want to pass new laws even though they don’t enforce existing laws. I guess it’s so they can pick and choose who they go after. If you rub the city the wrong way they can make your life a living hell.

    • SlimStrontem
      March 14, 2012 at 5:01 pm

      Are you SUGGESTING that politicians would EVER misuse their ill-gotten powers for petty interests, personal gains, or self-gratification? What are you, a REALIST or something???

  11. January 19, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Here’s a bunch of info for you Ken:

    “Tree limbs shall not touch roof coverings at any time.
    Deadwood and litter shall be regularly removed from trees and the surrounding area.Hazard trees, as determined by the Code Official, shall be removed. When determining hazard trees, the Code Official may be guided by industry standards, individual site conditions, hazard ratings, risk assessments, basal area calculations, and/or tree densities determined to be effective in identifying and mitigating fire danger and/or protecting property. Trees that are in such a position that they may fall endangering life or property are determined to be hazard trees.”


  12. Community Integrity
    February 26, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Another progressive Idea! This along with the latest idea of having citizens report on one another. Ask me how? Well the latest idea is the brain child of Lieutenant Miller. Lets have the good people of Flagstaff act as the untrained arm of our local council and Mr. Millers police department. If there is a problem lets have code inforcement take care of it. If its an infraction with the law,do we law have a police department for this? Stop with this stuff for God’s sake.

  1. January 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm
  2. January 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm
  3. February 25, 2012 at 12:05 am
  4. March 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm
  5. January 9, 2013 at 7:57 am

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