Homewood modernizes, reorganizes village code 

Time to read
1 minute

Homewood modernizes, reorganizes village code 

July 18, 2021 - 20:52
0 comments

Soon there will be no requirement to fasten your unattended horse in Homewood. Nor will there be any references to cattle passes in the village code. 

Provisions pertaining to both regulations were dropped when Homewood adopted an updated municipal code at the July 13 village board meeting.

Village Manager Jim Marino said at the June 22 meeting that the village had deemed a total code review was necessary in 2019. It hadn’t been updated since 1997 and needed to be made accurate and brought in compliance with state laws.

“This is a good process to go through periodically. It cleans the code up, makes sure it’s up to date,” Marino said. “What we did here is really a lot of housekeeping, not a whole lot of substantial changes.”

The village solicited bids from four companies, deciding to contract Municode, a Florida company that publishes legal documents online. A link will be available from the village website.

Marino and Village Attorney Chris Cummings, along with village department heads and attorneys for Municode, reviewed the town code in its entirety over the last year. They found it needed to be better organized and made searchable.

“The main point was to make it easier for folks in the village and village staff to find things,” Cummings said. “When I started here, (the code) was a PDF file and it was over 1,000 pages. It was very difficult for anybody to navigate.”

Updates included correcting citations, terms and titles as well as outdated references to state statutes. Some sections were reworded to clarify, update language or reflect actual practice. References to businesses and locations that no longer exist also were removed.

A series of individual amendments were also adopted on July 13. 

Fees, fines and charges will all be organized in one area of the code and approved annually with the village budget. A list of traffic signs was added to the code so that any new traffic signs can be added to the list instead of a required amendment for each one. A change allows trustees to attend meeting virtually, in compliance with state law. 

Changes to liquor license rules, including a minimum seating requirement for certain types of licenses and updates to Sunday sales hours, were also made. Sunday liquor sales previously were allowed to start at 10 or 11 a.m., depending upon the type of license. Sales now can begin at 6 a.m., the same as any other day of the week. 

Antiquated language about conduct at public dances and a law allowing the mayor to direct village police to find and bring absent board members to meetings was removed.