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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

100% NON Official Q & A on Snellville Code Compliance

Q:  I hear I have to keep my grass under 10 inches or something like that. What's the deal?

A: Actually, it's 12 inches. So you have a couple more inches to play with. I know you needed that.

Q: But gas is so expensive right now! I can't just keep mowing and mowing!

A:  Try investing in some weed control. You can get weed-and-feed type products from Snellville's Family Tree Garden Center, Home Depot or Lowe's Garden Centers. I need to do this myself. It's a little bit of outlay at first, but it will pay you back in gas and time savings.

Q: I have a rather large shrunken head collection. Am I allowed to display it?

A: I don't know why you would want to do that, but regardless, no you can't display that. You probably shouldn't have it at all.

Q: But what if the shrunken heads are displayed tastefully on stakes?

A: Um...sorry, the answer is still no. (Anybody have some Tylenol?)

Q: What's the deal with the signs? You mean I can't tape my garage sale sign to a Stop sign pole anymore?

A: You were never supposed to do that. Street signs are government property.

Q: How about stapling or nailing my sign to a power or telephone pole?

A: You shouldn't do that either, unless you want the employees from the power and phone companies to get their skin and uniforms ripped from staples and rusty nails.

Q: Oh. I never thought of that.

A: No, you wouldn't have thought of that, would you? As long as it never inconveniences YOU, you don't care. I bet you are the type to complain about gas prices, then sit in the middle of the street with your car idling, chatting with a friend and blocking the entire road and nobody else can get by!!!!

Q: Oh my gosh. You have a point, but seriously, maybe you need to think about some medication.

A:  %#$&%%@$%!!!!

Q: Is there anybody ELSE there I can talk to about code compliance?

A: [Through gritted teeth] Hang on a sec, I'll be delighted to get my supervisor.

A: [Not really a supervisor of any kind] Hello, how may I help you?

Q: Yes, I would like some information on how I can put tacky little signs advertising my singles dating service or my house cleaning, babysitting, or pet sitting service all over Scenic Highway.

A: Well, thank you for at least asking. It's better that you don't just stick your little signs in the ground. You see, it really clutters up the look of the whole city and makes it look trashy. If you really think about it, nobody has time to write down your information while they are driving anyway. While we're at it, you also should not tack, staple, tape, or otherwise attach signs or flyers in any way to anyone's mailbox or mailbox post. It's illegal -- that one is against United States Postal Service regulations.

Q: How am I supposed to advertise then? I can't afford to spend much money.

A: There are places you can put your ad for free or very inexpensively. Check into newspaper classifieds or online at Rent a business booth at the Snellville Days Festival or the Snellville Fall Festival. Attend networking meetings. The Snellville Commerce Club meets monthly at Snellville City Hall.

Q: So, you're saying that with a little bit more effort, I might get better results AND stay within compliance?

A: Exactly!

Q: What does 'compliance' mean?

A: It means to comply to staying within the law, within codes which are rules designed to help make Snellville a more enjoyable place for all of us to live, work and play.

Q: Okay, one last thing. I have a neighbor who's house is a really wild color. I mean it's so bad it burns my retinas.

A: Although sometimes you feel the law is a burden on you (cutting your grass, not being able to put up your tacky signs), it also protects your retinas. Your neighbor will need to tone down the color of her home to something that looks more mild and earth-toned. Here's a past post about that, along with a link to a pdf that shows the palette of house colors.

Q: Oh, their house color is nothing like any of those. It reminds me of neon blue jello right now. My kids are scared at night sometimes because of the color of our neighbors house. They say they're scared clowns are gonna eat them.

A: Now you see the importance of this. It's not really about judgment of colors -- there are enough colors on the palette to give everybody a choice. And nobody's going to jump down your neck about this anytime soon, it's just something to keep in mind if you plan on repainting your house.

Q: Is Snellville going to get really mean about this? I don't want my neighbor to get in trouble, even though I don't like the color of their house, and what about my grass and my signs? Is somebody going to come and beat down my front door or charge me fines out the wazoo if I don't comply immediately?

A: When someone is not in compliance with code, first of all the city of Snellville sends out a letter. It explains what you need to do to stay in compliance. It's pretty much a warning at first. They have to have a paper trail to track each one.  If you take care of the situation, that's all there is to it. If you have problems being or getting into compliance, call the city to talk to the planning and zoning folks and they're more than happy to give you some guidance and ideas.

I'm not perfect -- I've had this happen myself, so I know this is so. It's only if you out-and-out ignore the letters and warnings that you will have problems.

Q: I don't know how you are going to finish this blog post. I mean, how can you top the shrunken heads?

A: I know. I feel the same way. Good to know that nobody really has shrunken heads out in their yard. Although it's a loophole in the code, isn't it?

Q: Hey, I don't really have shrunken heads. I was just messing with your mind.

A: I know. Have a good day.

The Snellville Police Department posted the following message on the organization's Facebook page today:

"As a result of the Town Vision and Master Plan meeting held at city hall last night, a consensus was reached that the city needs to enhance the overall beauty and cleanliness of our city by stricter enforcement of the Quality of Life ordinances passed by Mayor and Council. These include temporary signs placed in the right-of-way as well as property maintenance. 

We have always sought and will continue to seek voluntary compliance. However, we will assist Planning and Development, who has primary responsibility for enforcement, in consistently enforcing the ordinances to improve the livability of our neighborhoods and city when necessary. 

We ask all of our citizens to properly maintain their properties and encourage neighbors to do so as well. This is necessary to prevent further reduction of property values as well as to improve our overall appearance as we pursue economic development and the implementation of our Town Vision and Master Plan."

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