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Brooksville City Council hears code updates for law enforcement and brick street district designation

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At their regular meeting on March 20th, the Brooksville City Council heard the first reading of several proposed City Ordinance amendments, including an ordinance dealing with code updates for law enforcement and another ordinance providing for a brick street district designation.
City Ordinance 964 is to be amended for the purpose of appropriately accommodating the role of the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office in providing law enforcement services to the City.

According to background information presented to the City Council, on August 16, 2019, the City of Brooksville entered into an Interlocal Agreement for Law Enforcement Services with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office to provide law enforcement services within the City of Brooksville. At the time, the Interlocal Agreement was signed with no changes made to sections of the City of Brooksville Code of Ordinances or Land Development Code in order to update the applicability of the Code of Ordinances and Land Development Code. On May 16, 2022, the City Council of the City of Brooksville adopted Ordinance No. 944, which revised ordinances to take into account the role of the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office in providing law enforcement services to the City of Brooksville. This was accomplished as a measure to rectify the needed changes associated with the transfer of law enforcement authority. Since that time, it has been determined that several more amendments to the City of Brooksville Code of Ordinances should be made to further appropriately accommodate the role of the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office in providing law enforcement services to the City of Brooksville.

The revisions to Ordinance 964 include:
The definition of the term “Police” is amended under Section 1-2 to refer to law enforcement currently or formerly employed by the City of Brooksville, a Hernando County deputy, or other law enforcement agency whether or not under contract with the City of Brooksville to provide law enforcement services.

Section 34-61 under Article III, Fire and Burglar Alarm Services, amends the term Enforcement Officer to include the Law Enforcement Officer, the Fire Chief, or the designated representative of either.

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Section 34-63 prescribes reports to be filed and penalties for false alarms. For the first through the third false alarm, the amendment requires that the occupant, or in the case of an unoccupied premise, the owner, files a written report on a form provided by the fire department within ten days detailing the cause of the false alarm and the corrective actions taken. The amendment also authorizes the City Council to set and assess a fine for a fourth and succeeding false alarm if that alarm occurs within six months of a third response or preceding response.

Section 38-58 deals with the storage and disposal of abandoned and junked personal property. The amendment states that City code enforcement policies and procedures will be followed. In the event a law enforcement response is involved or required, procedures of the Law Enforcement Agency will be followed unless there is a prior agreement between the Enforcement Agency and the City.

Section 38-64, regarding the liability of the owner of an abandoned boat or motor vehicle, will be amended to include the term “seized” in addition to “abandoned.” The changes include a provision that unless the amount due is paid to any authorized third party for towing or storage, the owner will not be entitled to obtain a certificate of registration until the amount due is paid. The change further states that City and/or Law Enforcement Agency policies will be followed as to making notification to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Section 74-165 will now require that any person wishing to use the City right-of-way for the purpose of house moving, parades, festivals, and related public assembly-type events will be required to obtain a permit from the Community Development Department of the City.

Section 4-8.6 of the Land Development Code now requires the applicant for a license to operate an Adult or Sexually Oriented business to provide a color photograph showing the applicant’s face, as well as fingerprints on an appropriate completed fingerprint card.

City Ordinance 960 also had its first reading. That ordinance adds Sections 74-36 through 74-43 to the City Code of Ordinances. The new sections provide for the designation of a “Brick Street District” in Brooksville and provide for the preservation and restoration of certain Brick Streets.

The new ordinance prohibits any existing brick street from being paved unless approved by the City Council. Should the need arise to replace a brick street with something other than brick, the ordinance requires that all property owners abutting the street be provided notice and a public hearing to be held.

The ordinance designates twenty-three brick streets as protected. Enforcement of the provisions of this new ordinance falls to the Public Works Director. Both proposed Ordinances were approved by the council and are set for a second and final public reading on April 3, 2023.

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