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Spring Lake Enacts Beautification Ordinance

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SPRING LAKE — Spring Lake leaders say the small military town is ready to clean up its trashy image and improve opportunities for growth.

The Cumberland County town is going to fine residents $100 a day for junked vehicles in an effort to clean up its image.

Residents can no longer leave old vehicles in their front yards. Owners can leave one -- only one -- in the back yard, if it is properly covered.

Motor homes can be parked on the side or in the back of a house, but not in the front yard.

Also under the new beautification ordinance, truckers will not be allowed to drive their rigs home. Eighteen-wheelers and other commercial vehicles cannot be parked in residential areas.

"Part of it is the unsightliness of them pulled in the front yard, part of it is they block traffic occasionally in the streets, the weight of them, and the noise when someone does get up in the morning, and let it idle for 15-20 minutes," says Town Manager Brad Smith.

"It's hard to get someone to invest when they see this," Smith says. "They don't want their property next to somebody who's a mess, and so we are trying to clean it all up. Economic development is really the main focus of it."

Subdivisions have covenants to the same effect, but the town is now making it an ordinance.

Don Miller is not a trucker, but some of his neighbors are. He thinks the new restriction goes too far.

"There's a lot worse than a $150,000 cab that he likes to keep shined up. He doesn't want to park that where he can't see it himself because of security reasons," Miller says.

Although fines for junked vehicles will start immediately, leaders are giving truckers a little more leeway so they can find a safe place to park their rigs.

Leaders say the new push is not to force working people out of town. Its goal, they say, is to attract businesses that will improve the town's dwindling tax base.

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Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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