City changes ordinances related to rentals, right-of-ways and trees

Special to The Clinton Courier

During the November 3 Board Meeting, three ordinance amendments were approved to protect the integrity and beauty of the city.

First, the Board adopted an amendment to the Rental Ordinance. The amendment is aimed at ensuring that absentee landlords living outside of the Jackson area are responsible for the timely and proper upkeep of their properties.

The amendment requires an annual registration application to be filed with and issued by the City’s Community Development Department, in writing, signed by the property owner, agent, and include the name and address of the applicant. In the case of an owner who does not reside in the City of Clinton, the owner is required to provide information for a local agent who resides in the City of Clinton.

Each rental property owner who does not reside in Clinton is now required to hire a local agent to serve as their representative and monitor of properties.  This amendment will provide an additional layer of protection for neighborhoods and homeowners adjacent to rental properties.

In May 2013, the City of Clinton adopted a Rental Property Ordinance for the purpose of insuring the health, safety and welfare of the community. The ordinance includes manufactured homes, single-family houses, multi-family units and any residential property that is leased to an individual other than the property owner.

Additional information on the Rental Ordinance as well as the Rental Property application can be found on the City’s website at or by contacting Community Development Department at 601-924-0837.

The second set of ordinance changes involve the protection of City Rights of Way (ROWs) from damage due to utility company boring. City officials and residents were reminded of a specific critical incidence of this, which was the damage done to Broadway Street several years ago by utility boring contractors, causing the failure of the roadway and expensive repairs.

Board members approved an ordinance amendment proposed by Clinton Mayor Phil Fisher to protect City Rights of Way from damage due to boring of utility company contractors. 

The ordinance amendments require that permit and engineering plans be submitted to the City at least five days in advance of work commencing. In addition, in lieu of the required deposit, the contractor may execute a bond payable to the City of Clinton, either per job or per year, payable in the amount equal to or greater than the required deposit. Also, sanitary sewer service lines are required to be inspected by camera before and after any boring/trenching that would cross service lines.

Thirdly, City officials approved an ordinance to prevent the scarring of trees by utility companies removing trees from the Right of Way. The amendment requires recommendations from an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist be submitted with a request for tree trimming/removal during utility easement clearing. The amendment also requires prompt removal of tree trimmings, stating “individual tree trimming/removal of all debris shall be removed within 24 hours of completion.  For utility easement clearing, a cleanup crew shall be on site at time of clearing.”

In presenting the amendments, Fisher stated that the amendments were necessary to prevent “utility companies from damaging the aesthetic and function of our Rights of Way. We want to prevent trees from looking like a ‘V’ or other damage  that has been caused in them.”

“Each of these ordinance amendments are meant to protect the integrity of our City’s Rights of Way and neighborhoods. These new requirements provide an added line of communication and planning as utilities work in our city,” said Fisher.

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