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City Council decides it could implement municipal code updates sooner than later
• Process of updating could take 6 months
ceres city seal

Last month the Ceres City Council embarked on an extensive quest to update the Ceres Municipal Code. On Monday the panel decided to change the schedule to accomplish sections and hold public hearings.

In some cases the city is tweaking titles and numbers. The council is breaking up sections into five groups because of size and also grouping different sections for discussion on specific nights.

Each section is roughly 250 pages, explained City Manager Toby Wells.

Initially the council was to start talking about the overhaul on Aug. 12 but it was pushed back to Aug. 26. The discussion led to a public hearing which took place on Monday and was continued to Sept. 23.

Wells suggested adopting all of the changes at the end of the process but the discussion leaned a different way. 

Vice Mayor Linda Ryno said because the city has immediate code enforcement issues, she doesn’t want to wait to implement changes in that section.

“Whatever changes we want to make we need to adopt them then instead of waiting to the very end,” said Ryno. “We all know we have issues that need to be addressed.”

At the end of the discussion the council said it would decide in each grouping if it wants to adopt changes right away or wait to the end of the process.

On Aug. 26 the council focused on updates to: Chapter 1, Generation Provision; Chapter 2, Administration and Personnel; Chapter 3, Revenue and Finance; Chapter 4, Public Welfare, Safety and Health; Chapter 6, Health and Sanitation; Chapter 8, Animals.

The next discussion will focus on updating Chapter 9, Public Peace, Safety and Morals; Chapter 10, Vehicles and Traffic; and Chapter 19, Code Enforcement.

Among the issues that the council wants to tackle is that of street vendors and garbage cans being in public view on non-collection days. Wells said the city has a high volume of citations and warnings about garbage cans not being screened from public view or stored behind a fence or in a garage on days when the garbage is not being picked up.  Mayor Chris Vierra said he wants further discussion on the matter.

Enforcement is more of a complaint driven process but Wells said the city prefers to hand out flyers to neighborhoods where visible cans are a problem instead of single out individuals for enforcement.