Setting the PMO Record Straight
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Today’s edition of the Arizona Daily Sun has a print only article about Flagstaff’s proposed Property Maintenance Ordinance titled The Neighborhood Eyesore (along with a couple supplemental articles).
The Daily Sun has always seemed to lean toward supporting this ordinance and it’s no surprise that today’s article is one sided and refuses to tell the whole truth. For starters, it leaves out the comments from City staff who repeatedly said during Thursday’s public meeting that the PMO should not be taken literally and that we should trust City code enforcement to enforce it properly.
The article also leaves out the countless comments from the Public explaining exactly how the wording of the proposed PMO would affect them. Zoning Code Administrator Roger Eastman was often left stammering without an answer when pressed on the text of the proposed PMO.
Most importantly, the article fails to mention that even those who fought for this PMO are upset with the proposed PMO as it stands now. One PMO advocate even called the current version a “Bastardized piece of paper”.
Watch The April 5th Public PMO Meeting For Yourself
Last Thursday’s public PMO meeting was recorded and is available here:
What Does The PMO Actually Say?
The Daily Sun chooses to print a few extreme pictures of run down houses but what they never address is the fact that the PMO as it currently stands will affect just about every home and business in Flagstaff. Zoning Code Administrator Roger Eastman claims that staff will be trained using guidelines from the International Property Maintenance Code and that we can trust them to use their good judgement and “reasonableness”. Knowing how irrational and unreasonable the City of Flagstaff is, I don’t trust them for a second.
Here are a few quotes from the actual PMO:
D. Fences, screen walls, and retaining walls.
All fences, screen walls, and retaining walls on the premises shall be in a safe and sound
condition, properly anchored so as not to be in danger of failure or collapse, and
uniform in color and structure, and shall be maintained so that they do not constitute a
hazard, blight, or condition of disrepair. Examples of hazards, blight or conditions of
disrepair are inclusive of, but not limited to;
1. Leaning fences or walls to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the
center of gravity does not fall inside the middle one-third of the width of the wall
or fence at its base.
2. Fences and walls that are missing slats or blocks, or that have rot or damage;
4. Peeling paint; and
5. Deteriorated paint or materials
A. Accumulation of vegetation prohibited.
1. All land within the City, except for unimproved land, shall be maintained so it is
free of the accumulation or untended growth of vegetation, the presence of
which creates a safety, fire, or health hazard, or that attracts vermin either on the
property, on neighboring properties, or on both, and includes but is not limited
a. Any lawn grass that exceeds twelve (12) inches in height.
b. All weeds that exceed twelve (12) inches in height.
c. Dead plants or dead parts of plants of any kind.
C. Doors, windows, and skylights.
1. Every door, window, skylight, door and frame (including insect screens) shall be
kept in sound condition, good repair, and weather tight.
2. All windows, skylights, and other glazing materials shall be maintained free
from cracks and holes.
3. Every basement window that is openable shall be supplied with rodent shields,
storm windows, or other approved protection against infestation.
Here is the full text of Flagstaff’s proposed PMO:
Who Is Opposed To The PMO?
While today’s Daily Sun article spent most of it’s time focusing on supporters of the PMO, last Thursday’s PMO meeting and the general consensus around town is that the majority of Flagstaff is strongly opposed to any PMO and especially one that goes beyond health and safety concerns.
As usual, the Daily Sun and the Flagstaff City Council believe their agenda is more important than the will of the people. It’s kind of the same tactic Roger Eastman used at the April 5th meeting where he said he was getting the impression that people at the meeting wanted a PMO but wanted some changes. Fortunately, Joy Staveley (a concerned member of the public), was keeping score. She explained to Eastman that out of all the people who spoke, only one wanted the PMO as written, three wanted a different PMO and EVERYBODY else was completely opposed to any version of a PMO.
The Daily Sun wraps up their article with a somewhat underhanded and disingenuous comment suggesting that the PMO Review Group meeting was packed largely due to it being promoted by Republican and Tea Party groups. The Daily Sun knows full well that there was a very diverse group at the meeting including Democrats, Independents, everyday business owners and property owners. In fact, large ads were even running in the Daily Sun promoting the PMO meeting!!!
Since most people in Flagstaff will automatically take the opposite side of any issue the Tea Party or the Republican Party opposes or supports, I don’t think it was an accident that the Daily Sun tried to tie the PMO protest to these two unpopular groups.
For those following along at home, let me make something very very clear. The PMO opposition is not about left vs. right in any way. It is about the people of Flagstaff vs. the City of Flagstaff who is trying to trample our freedom and private property rights.
Don’t let the Daily Sun or any City Council member try to fool you into giving up your freedom and liberty.
There will be a PMO work session at City hall this Tuesday, April 10th at 5:30 pm. Please come and make your voice heard either verbally or through written comment. Tuesday’s agenda can be found here:
PMO Violation: “4. Peeling paint; and
5. Deteriorated paint or materials”
PMO Violation: “Fences and walls that are missing slats or blocks, or that have rot or damage;”
PMO Violation: “b. All weeds that exceed twelve (12) inches in height.
c. Dead plants or dead parts of plants of any kind.”
PMO Violation: “Every door, window, skylight, door and frame (including insect screens) shall be kept in sound condition, good repair, and weather tight.”