Code Magistrate reviews code violations

OKEECHOBEE — A Okeechobee County Code Enforcement Magistrate hearing was held on May 15 to review code violation cases.

• The Northwest Seventh Street property belonging to Deborah Yvonne Saunders (formerly known as Deborah Yvonne Parker) was found in violation of county code. The property owner was ordered to remove or license abandoned vehicles or store the vehicles in an enclosed structure, remove household goods, mechanical parts, trash and debris, cease outdoor storage and mow and trim weeds and grass. If these actions are not taken by June 14, the property will be subject to a fine of up to $250 per day.

• The Northwest Fourth Street property owned by David Niehaus and Dana Niehaus was brought into code compliance before the hearing. This case was dismissed.

• The Southwest 35th Circle property owned by Joyln M. Unruh was found to be in violation of county code. The property owner was ordered to repair or replace the roof with all applicable permits and fees.

• The Southeast 38th Avenue property belonging to Richard E. Welsch was found in violation of county code. The property owner was ordered to bring the property into compliance per the March 20, 2018 order, by June 14 or be subject to a fine of up to $250 per day.

• The Northeast Fifth Street property belonging to the estate of Janet Lott (deceased) was found in violation of county code. To address these violations overgrown weeds, grass, bushes and shrubs must be mowed. If the property is not cleaned up by June 14, it will be subject to a fine of up to $250 per day. Ms. Lott’s son, Adrian Crook, has been notified by U.S. Mail and by email.

• The State Road 78 West property owned by Penny Lane LLC was found to be in violation of county code. The magistrate ordered the property be brought into compliance per the April 17, 2018 order or be subject to a fine of up to $250 per day.

• The Southeast 38th Trail property belonging to Carolyn Chandler and William Mason and occupied by Ivan Ochoa was found to be in violation of county code. The owners were ordered to bring the property into compliance per the April 17, 2018 order by June 14, or be subject to a fine of up to $250 per day. The April 17 order requires the property be cleared of trash and debris, inoperable and abandoned vehicles, farm animals and outdoor storage.

• The Northwest Eighth Street property owned by Francisca Baltazar was found to be in compliance prior to the hearing. Because the respondent had corrected the violation, the case was dismissed.

• The case of the U.S. 98 North property owned by Mauro Tovar was tabled until Aug. 21.

A 2008 code violation case will go before the Okeechobee County Commission at their May 24 meeting. Michael Ricker, owner of the Northwest 50th Drive property known as Mi-Cin Ranch, has requested a reduction in the code violation fine. In 2008, the property was cited for installation of lights without permits and commercial sales in a residential zone. A find of $100 per day started on May 21, 2009 and accrued until the property was in compliance on Jan. 31, 2011. The fine totals $98,500. Mr. Ricker maintains there was never any commercial activity on the property. He has requested a reduction in the fine. Magistrate Deborah Hooker recommends the fine be reduced to $3,000.

Editor Katrina Elsken can be reached at kelsken@newszap.com

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