After more than 30 years, the Cambridge City Code is getting an overhaul.
Cambridge City Council members spent time going over the code during a special meeting Dec. 16. The code was put in effect in 1978, and has been updated over the years as new ordinances have been put in place. But there has never been a "housecleaning" like this before, as Mayor Scott DeYoung put it. He said the city wants to update the code "to make it easier to enforce the code" and also to make it in accordance with the state.
One of the major changes to the code residents will notice, if and when it is approved, is they will no longer be allowed to park vehicles in their front yard for more than a 48-hour period. Any time beyond that period, vehicles will need to be parked in driveways or where it is allowed on the street. This will prevent residents from parking old cars that they don’t use anymore in their yard. DeYoung said, under the current code, parking vehicles in front yards is not addressed.
Another change residents soon may notice is having to pay a permit fee if they want to install a fence, sidewalk or driveway on their property. Council members said they want to add this to the code as an oversight so they know what is going on.
Council members also discussed changes to the golf cart ordinance during the meeting. Currently, the code states golf carts can be operated on city streets, as long as the operator has a driver’s license. DeYoung suggested amending the code so operators must have a valid non-probationary driver’s license in order to prevent those under the age of 18 from operating the carts on city streets.
Adding a specification on how much snow or ice must be on the ground in order to declare a snow ordinance is another change the council discussed. Defining a specific amount for either type of precipitation will make it easier to write citations for those who do not adhere to the snow ordinance.
DeYoung said they will also revise the part of the code that talks about solid waste, so residents will be required to clean it up, rather than letting it accumulate in their yard.
No action was taken regarding the proposed city code updates during the Dec. 16 meeting. The first reading of the ordinance regarding the code updates will be held during the council’s Jan. 6 meeting, with the second and third readings scheduled for Feb. 3 and March 3, respectively. All meetings will begin at 7 p.m. in the Cambridge City Hall. The updates to the city code will take effect once the final reading of the ordinance has been approved and the ordinance has been published in the newspaper.