Lakeview Ave Residents Share Quality Of Life Complaints

Residents on Lakeview Avenue, Jamestown want to see more police enforcement in their neighborhood. P-J photo by Gregory Bacon

Some Lakeview Avenue residents in the city of Jamestown are upset with the noise level and the crime in their neighborhood and are letting their elected leaders know.

Paul Leone attended the City Council work session this week, along with six of his neighbors.

“We’re here to address two concerns – the noise level and the crime,” he said.

In regards to noise, Leone notes that there are a lot of motorcycles and loud cars that travel on the road, with their radios turned way up. He would like to see the city either put in speed bumps or put up signs saying that noise levels are enforced. He also urged the police to pull drivers over who violate the city’s noise ordinance.

Leone said he has lived on Lakeview Avenue for about 40 years.

“In all the years I’ve lived on Lakeview Avenue, I’ve never once seen somebody stopped for excessive noise,” he said.

He also said that drivers rev their engines, sometimes in the middle of the night.

Police Chief Timothy Jackson agreed that the noise level can be unacceptable, but doesn’t support speed bumps or signs.

“Most of the issues you’ve mentioned … some of those people have been ticketed twice,” he said.

Leone asked about changing the law, so that if someone is ticketed three times for violations that person’s vehicle is towed.

“What we want to see is some enforcement,” he said.

Jackson insisted they are enforcing the law.

“I think there’s a mix-up between enforcement and punishment. … We’re enforcing it. Whether or not people are being held accountable, I don’t know. That’s up to the court,” he said.

The chief added that he would support a harsher punishment for third-time offenders.

Councilman Jeffrey Russell, R-At Large, said he supports changing the law so that vehicles can be towed after three violations. He shared that over the course of a year, the police department had issued 31 tickets for loud music coming from a residence and 43 tickets for loud music from a vehicle. Three offenders had been charged twice. Additionally police have issued 68 tickets for loud exhaust and seven tickets for fireworks.

Councilman Randall E. Daversa, R-At Large, said he also supports altering the city law so that vehicles can be confiscated after multiple violations.

A woman at 35 Lakeview Ave. said she bought that property with plans to turn it into a bed and breakfast.

“I plan on bringing a lot of money to Jamestown but you guys have got to get the noise under control,” she said.

Lakeview Avenue resident John O’Hagan also spoke. He noted that he’s seen the SWAT team raid houses on a neighboring street.

“The drug dealers spent two days in jail and they’re all back there again,” he said.

O’Hagan criticized landlords for renting properties to people who keep getting arrested.

“The landlords that own these properties take no responsibility for what’s going on,” he said.

He noted that after drug raids, the houses remained dilapidated, with broken windows and doors.

Development Director Crystal Surdyk said they have been working on a rental inspection ordinance, which she believes will help address these issues. It will require rental inspections annually.

“We would like to get that passed in the next month or two,” Surdyk added.

Surdyk also said in March the City Council updated its nuisance ordinance so after three incidents, a rental unit can be declared a nuisance and be posted so that it can no longer be occupied.

“That is another tool that we have developed and passed recently,” she said.

One landlord, who also lives in Lakeview Avenue, said landlords are in a difficult place because sometimes tenants will break things and it gets very expensive to evict them.

“Landlords almost have no rights nowadays,” he said.

Other complaints raised by Lakeview residents included garbage dumping, empty houses being raided for their copper, and loose dogs without leashes.

The full discussion lasted for about 30 minutes.


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