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Wandering sheep, shoe shines on city sidewalks no longer a problem

Jill Lufrano

Not many Carson City residents still allow mules, sheep or pigs to run loose on city streets.

And it’s a rare occurrence when someone wants to unfold a “bootblack” stand to shine shoes on Carson Street or set up a popcorn cart on Fifth Street.

Some are questioning why the city still has rules on the books prohibiting these practices and others that were more common sometime around the 1930s.

After recently reviewing the nuisance code, city officials are proposing to toss out some old rules and bring in the new – like rules against graffiti, garage sales and abandoned cars.

“We have nuisance ordinances, but they’re so outdated,” said Christi Smith, city environmental health specialist. “We’ve rewritten them to apply to things going on today.”

City staff will hold a public workshop to introduce the proposed changes and take comments Wednesday night. Some might not agree to the updates that turned two pages of rules into 15, but staff wants to hear from everyone before presenting the changes to the Board of Supervisors, Smith said.

“Right now, you can’t let your sheep run on sidewalks, but the second we get rid of it, someone will want to run their sheep down the sidewalks,” Smith predicted.

Staff expects to present the updated nuisance ordinance to supervisors in late February after hearing from the public, Smith said. A final draft of the ordinance will be available at Wednesday’s meeting.

“We’ll pass out a draft so they’ll have a chance to look it over,” Smith said. “There may be something in here that we’ve missed that is pertinent and we should have it in here.”

Staff and code enforcement officers from community development and the business license and environmental health departments reviewed the dated ordinance to develop new sections.

The updated code will include rules about property and premises maintenance, graffiti, junk, abandoned and unregistered vehicles, and about parking and living in mobile homes, recreational vehicles and cars. It will also address garage sales, signs, unlawful dumping, burning and temporary sale or service stands.

Another sign of the times – the city is considering updating the title of the ordinance from “Public Nuisance” to a much more friendly name like “Community Preservation Program,” Smith said.

Contact Jill Lufrano at jlufrano@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.