Several months ago, Panama City Commissioners passed an ordinance they say was intended to target properties that cause problems for neighbors. It's called the nuisance ordinance.
However, the delay in the implementation of the ordinance has some wondering -what's the holdup? The ordinance was passed back in April, but officials said it wouldn't go into effect until more information was received.
Some in the community have disagreed with the ordinance, including Panama City Rescue Mission director Reverend Billy Fox, who claims that the ordinance targets the mission. The city says the ordinance will crack down on properties that drain city resources.
Under the ordinance, a property would be deemed a public nuisance if law enforcement responded to that property more than 5 times in a month. The owner of the property would have to enter an abatement program and work to solve the issues. The Panama City Police Department has been working with the city and says the ordinance is currently under command staff review, and isn't currently being enforced.
Assistant city manager Jeff Brown says that the delay has a lot to do with the 'calls for service' issue.
"There's no differentiation between a call of service for a business that is doing the right thing and encountering a shoplifter and stopping them, versus a superfluous call, which the business also has no control over," Brown said.
Brown says some direction should come from the city attorney on that issue in the next few months.
Another ordinance was passed around the same time as this one, called the aggressive panhandling ordinance. It would crack down on panhandling in public areas. After some delay in the process, as commissioners worked out issues with the special events ordinance, PCPD told News 13 today that they are in the beginning stages of implementing that law.