Mandeville's mayor adamant action will be taken against roadside garages starting August 1Thursday, July 01, 2021
BY KASEY WILLIAMS
MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Some residents of Marshalls Pen, a community located north-west of the Mandeville town centre, are appealing for urgent attention from the authorities, including the Manchester Municipal Corporation and the police, to address an expanding garage in the area.
“If you have your personal car and something is wrong with it and you invite a mechanic to come and [fix] it, that's not an offence, but when you are going to have several cars parked on a premises and on the road for a mechanic to work on them, that's against good order,” President of the Marshalls Pen Citizen's Association Elroy Ricketts told the Jamaica Observer.
“It is unsightly and it invites undesirable behaviour and practices in the community,” added Ricketts.
He complained that residential properties in Marshalls Pen are at risk of losing value because of the roadside garage.
“The properties adjoining are being devalued because next door to your house you have a roadside garage, and it lends itself to noisy behaviour from the effects of repairing vehicles in the early morning and late at night. It is an area where you have mostly retired people,” said Ricketts.
“When you have disruptive behaviour like that it creates a problem for the citizens,” he added.
Another resident, who asked not to be named, said attempts had been made years ago to have the intervention of the authorities to ensure that the roadside garage be removed from the community.
Only recently, at the monthly meeting of the municipal corporation, an annoyed Mayor of Mandeville Donovan Mitchell (Royal Flat Division – People's National Party), announced a 14-day grace period for owners of abandoned old cars and roadside garages to remove them from residential and commercial areas in and around Mandeville.
But, on Tuesday, Mitchell told the Observer that the grace period has been extended to August 1, 2021.
“We have put out an official [notice] in the newspapers to advise the public that this is the way forward… it spoke to all of the areas that we dealt with in council,” said Mitchell as he declared that he is adamant that after the grace period the local municipality will be enforcing the law.
“We are going to be going out there. The team has been having discussions and there are some preliminary things that have to be put in place first before we roll out [enforcement]. August 1 is when the team will go out on the road. We are trying to employ two or three additional persons who have influence in terms of enforcement,” said mayor.
“If you have not complied, or sent in your [application], or come in and see us, then we will be using the full force of the law to get the people to comply,” he added.
The enforcement notice stated that action will be taken against the following activities: building construction and subdivision development without approval; storage of building materials along parochial roadways; erection of billboards/advertisement signs without approval; operation of car marts without the relevant permits; encroachment of roadside garages/mechanic shops on parochial road; breaches of the residential covenants and the towns limits regulations (that is animal rearing and operating commercial activities in residential areas); dumping in waterways, gullies and open lots without the necessary approvals/permits.
Mitchell cited the collapse of a 12-storey apartment complex in Surfside, near Miami in Florida, that resulted in at least 11 deaths to support his position that disorder cannot be allowed to hold sway.
“You look at that building in Miami that has collapsed, those are some of the things we are running from. People want to do some things and don't understand that there are consequences at the end of the day, so we want to make sure we don't fall into the same trap,” he said.
“Those are some of the things, especially persons who are building without plans… and dumping up areas, because water always finds its natural course,” added Mitchell.