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Mansfield Passes Nuisance Ordinance

The Mansfield Town Council passed the "Ordinance to Prevent Neighborhood Nuisances" after a public hearing Monday night.

Residents in Storrs-Mansfield are looking forward to some peace and quiet.

Soon, police and Town officials – to be designated by Town Manager Matthew Hart - will be able to write citations against individuals that generate neighborhood nuisances when a new ordinance – passed Monday at a Town Council meeting – takes effect.

While many consider Mansfield a quiet town, some residents say there are areas – usually populated by college students – with a history of nuisance activity.

Violations will now carry a fine of $250 to be paid within 30 days of its issuance.

The ordinance will also give the Town the authority to fine landlords when tenants or guests on their property are repeat offenders.

It is expected to be in place before the end of August.

According to a June 27 draft of the ordinance, Mansfield’s amended definition of a “nuisance” is as follows:

Any behavior which substantially interferes with the comfort or safety of other residents or occupants of the same or nearby buildings or structures. Conduct of a person or persons on any premises in a manner which is a violation of law, or which creates a disturbance of the quiet enjoyment of private or public property may constitute a nuisance. Such behavior includes disorderly, indecent, tumultuous or riotous conduct. Unlawful conduct includes, but is not limited to, individually or in combination with other misbehavior, excessive pedestrian and vehicular traffic, obstruction of public streets by crowds or vehicles, illegal parking, the service of alcohol to underage persons, underage drinking, fights, creating a public disturbance, breach of the peace, trespassing, disorderly conduct, littering, simple assault, threatening, harassment, illegal burning or use of fireworks, urinating or defecating in public, lewdness, criminal mischief, crimes against property, or excessive noise.

The ordinance was reviewed by the Quality of Life Committee and Ordinance Development and Review Subcommittee, and approved by Town Attorney Dennis O’Brien, the Attorney General’s Office and Connecticut State Police.

John July 13, 2011 at 05:43 PM
We can't drink in the dorms. Half the kids can't go to the bar because the drinking age is still 21 for whatever reason. And now we can't go out and drink at parties because the police are going to take advantage of this ordinance to shut down everything that's left going on during the weekend. Everyone who lives in Mansfield chooses to do so. You knew before you lived there that it was a college town. If you can't take the kids and crowds having a good time on the weekends after working their asses off in school during the week, then move. Stop pushing these ordinances that kill our social scene. The carriage ordinance was bad enough, and now this is just ridiculous. You're all hiding behind 'safety' for these laws but in reality you just regret living in a college town. Get over yourselves and get out of Storrs/Mansfield. We don't want you here.
Drake T. Smith July 14, 2011 at 05:19 PM
Boy John do you have some growing up to do! I have lived in this town for many years and the behavior of students has compelled the Town of Mansfield to finally react. We constantly pick up empty beer cans/cups and other trash from our street almost every day. We have had our mailbox destroyed 4 times in the past 18 months. I assume that you will be buying a home sometime in the future and when you do please post your address so I can swing by and garbage up your yard and smash your mailbox. Then you will know how we feel.
John July 19, 2011 at 09:12 PM
Drake, you knew going into it that you would be living in a college town. There are 16,000 students in your proximity. You get benefited through the students due to their impact on the towns economy and you also live cheaper because you're near a college. Now you're trying to have your cake and eat it too. You want all the benefits of living in a college town with none of the consequences.
John July 20, 2011 at 07:56 PM
My biggest gripe with the new ordinance is more of the fact that whoever is policing it is going to abuse it's intended use. If people are damaging property, littering, etc. there are already laws in place to take care of this. By adding more laws we are giving more power to people than is necessary. Can you explain the clauses in the ordinance regarding noise complaints and 'excessive pedestrian traffic'? How can you stop people from walking on public grounds (sidewalks/roads/etc.) just because someone feels that there are too many of them? And then on top of that you want to fine them too? It's an absurd ordinance that is just reaffirming many things that are already illegal and adding another fine to them, as well as making things that should not be illegal a fine.

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