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Council likely to modify "chronic nuisance" ordinance Wednesday

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati Council will likely approve a modified chronic nuisance ordinance Wednesday that should settle a lawsuit filed against the city on the issue.  

“This is an agreement that the city and that particular property owner were able to work out,” said Wendell Young, chairman of Council’s public safety committee.  “It appears that the other property owners think this is also a good deal, so there should not be a lot of controversy about this.”

The law is intended to hold owners accountable if the police department is constantly making calls to their properties for crime and disorder.

“Relating the total number of calls for service with the size of the apartment complex,” said Solicitor John Curp explaining the major change to the ordinance.  “Therefore for larger complexes, it will require more calls to trigger some of the punitive measures of the ordinance.  But what is important to note is we (the city) are still maintaining the criminal prosecution element of the ordinance in addition to the civil remedies.”

Downtown Property Management had sued about the issue.  Curp said the modified ordinance is essential to settling that lawsuit.

A property is declared a chronic nuisance once crime and disorder there reaches a certain level. The goal is to hold the owner responsible for those problems.  If that effort fails, owners can be billed for police calls to their properties.