The Gretna City Council moved forward Sept. 1 with an ordinance that would expand the city’s jurisdiction in litter and public nuisance property cases.

The ordinance, if adopted, would give Gretna the power to enforce its litter and public nuisance regulations beyond the city limits to the one-mile area included in its extraterritorial jurisdiction.

City officials asked the council to consider the additional manpower and funds that would be needed to enforce the regulations in the much larger jurisdictional area before approving the new ordinance.

“When you get out in the ETJ, we’re going to add a lot of staff time. We may have to look at that as a cost to the city if we want to start enforcing these ordinances,” City Administrator Jeff Kooistra said. “It just adds probably double or triple the jurisdictional area that we’re doing right now.”

To date, when the city has received a complaint about a property outside its jurisdiction, the city staff most often has been able to work through the corresponding SID to resolve the issue even though it’s not the governing authority, Kooistra said.

Rather than actively seeking out violations, the mayor and council envision the city staff focusing on properties that receive complaints.

“This will be more of a complaint basis,” Mayor Jim Timmerman said.

The new ordinance would limit tall grass and weed regulations to inside the city limits while other public nuisance and litter regulations would apply to both the city limits and extraterritorial jurisdictional zone. The new ordinance also outlines notification, hearing and appeals procedures as well as costs and fines.

Council members approved the first reading but plan to get further information on costs to the city and any other implications of the ordinance before its second reading on Tuesday. Three readings of an ordinance must be approved before it may be adopted.

In other business, the City Council:

• Approved the third reading and adopted an ordinance to change the city’s zoning districts to conform to the updated 2014 Gretna Comprehensive Plan and rezoning ordinances that already have been approved but are not reflected on the current map.

• Approved the third reading and adopted an ordinance amending and re-establishing the boundaries of the City Council wards or election districts.

• Approved the first reading of an ordinance rezoning a section of property that is part of the Gretna Senior Living project.

• Approved the first reading of an ordinance amending the city’s sidewalk regulations to include state statute changes.

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