Illegal lawn waterers to get hauled into state court

Tue, 12/11/2007 - 6:02pm
By: John Thompson

The Fayette County Commission voted unanimously Dec. 5 to get even tougher on water violators. The County Commission decided to codify an ordinance that would outline stiffer penalties for water violators during times of state-mandated water restrictions.

Violators will receive a warning, but after that they’ll have to head to Fayette State Court if they want to fight the citation.

The first offense after the warning carries a $500 fine, while the second violation ups the fine to $750. The third violation results in a $1,000 fine. Residents could also find their taps turned off, until the citation is paid, if they continue to water after being cited.

The measure was first discussed to be handled administratively, but the County Commission preferred not being the final arbiter of whether a resident should have to pay the fine.

County Attorney Scott Bennett argued that making the violation an ordinance infraction also afforded residents their due process in front of the state court.

Commissioner Robert Horgan wanted to know if the penalties would still be enforced if the drought ended, and Water Director Tony Parrott said the penalties were strictly tied to the drought levels of watering permitted by the state during drought conditions.

The new penalties started Dec. 6.

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