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Dunedin considers change to city code enforcement following lawn fines

Pinellas County

DUNEDIN, Fla. (WFLA) – Anne Lowkey lived in her Dunedin home for 25 years, but ran into a problem with the city when she didn’t properly maintain her yard.

She was cited by code enforcement officers for the city and fines stacked up day after day the fines piled up until Lowkey owed the city more than $80,000.

“Frankly it made me sick,” said Lowkey.

The city of Dunedin made national news because of extreme cases like this one and others.

Dunedin’s Mayor Julie Bujalski says she received death threats because of the news reports on the code enforcement issue.

Now the city is considering a change to the system, including a new find structure and a cap on the fines levied.

“I think it’s all about balance. I really do and I think it’s about a fair process, a transparent process and identifying the human factor in any one of the situations,” said Mayor Julie Bujalski.

Dunedin’s City Council listened to a report by a consultant about code enforcement issues on Tuesday and will come back with an action plan later.

“It’s about saying, look if you’ve messed up and done something, we give you a way to fix it and we give you a way to walk it back and that’s really important that you are not going to suffer for the rest of your life because of it,” said Bujalski.

The city heard a consultants report today and did not take any action to limit fines or to put a cap on those fines. They will consider the consultant’s report and come back with an action plan later.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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