County seeks vote

Published 9:18 pm Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Escambia County Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to place a referendum on the general election ballot that will allow the county to have a hand in curbing nuisances such as litter, pollution, noise and overgrown weeds.
Residents living in unincorporated areas will have the opportunity in November to approve the ordinances in the referendum.
A year-old limited home rule law allows counties to seek a referendum on ordinances to curb nuisances.
The referendum only applies to people living in rural areas.
Escambia County was instrumental in getting the legislation passed, Commissioner Larry White said Monday.
Currently, the county has a very limited authority controlling such nuisances in unincorporated areas.
Stokes said Monday commissioners had been alerted about a party that was going to be held in the county, in which thousands of people were going to attend.
But county officials were unable to control what might happen there through permitting or other means.
If the referendum passes, residents seeking to have a party outside city limits would have to come to the county commission to obtain a permit.
Stokes has said he hoped voters would understand the county doesn't want the authority &#8220so we can dictate what happens in the rural areas.”
Rather, the referendum is for nuisances, such as people starting junkyards, he said.

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