In the community, Local government

Ontario agrees to pay, settles lawsuit over code enforcement as reforms in the works

ONTARIO – On a hot July day in 2020, Susan Ragsdale bent down on her hands and knees to pull weeds from the two garden spots in front of her home. 

She wasn’t idling away the time. 

She was attempting to comply with the city of Ontario’s nuisance law. Ragsdale had been warned she faced a fine if she didn’t tidy up the weeds in her front yard’s garden spots. But Ragsdale couldn’t weed fast enough to satisfy the city, which hit her with a $700 fine.

Now, she’s getting her money back.

She and other Ontario property owners until last year were caught in the city of Ontario’s aggressive code enforcement process. Using warnings, fines and even liens, the city punished those who would not meet city standards for weeds, abandoned vehicles . . .