Maplewood officials set to vote to change nuisance law; settle with woman who lost occupancy permit

Maplewood officials are set to vote on Tuesday on a ‘release and settlement agreement’ between the city and Rosetta Watson, who had her city occupancy permit stripped after being declared a nuisance under the city’s nuisance ordinance. The ACLU filed a suit against the city in her behalf. City officials are also set to vote on an amendment to the city’s nuisance ordinance, cited in denying Watson her permit to live in the city.

Per the ACLU: “Between September 2011 and February 2012, Rosetta Watson’s former boyfriend punched her, shoved her, choked her, and refused to leave her property, resulting in calls to the police on four occasions. Based on these four incidents, and even though city officials were aware that Ms. Watson was the victim of repeated domestic violence, Maplewood found that Ms. Watson was a nuisance, revoked her occupancy permit, denied her a new permit for 180 days, effectively banishing her from the city.”

The amendment to the ordinance, to be voted on at the Tuesday meeting, was agreed to by the ACLU and the city of Maplewood, the agenda says.

A comparison of the ordinance on the city website and the one in the agenda for the Sept. 11 meeting shows that two items from the current ordinance are being deleted.

Below: from the city’s nuisance ordinance (Article VII), items noted being ‘intentionally deleted’ in the copy being voted on:

Also this, to be added:

Council members received a red-lined copy showing changes to the amendment. The red line changes aren’t shown on the agenda.

See also: Maplewood sued for discrimination, targets ‘nuisance’ ordinance, Maplewood nuisance law meeting pulls a crowd

Also in the agenda: approving funds to buy two speed humps for Marietta Avenue, funds for three new police vehicles and two city administrative vehicles, and final council action on the Community Improvement District for the Maplewood Redevelopment Sunnen Station Project.


11 thoughts on “Maplewood officials set to vote to change nuisance law; settle with woman who lost occupancy permit

  1. This is tame compared to the Problem Properties Unit in the City of Stl. They tally tenant calls for police assistance and if you exceed their arbitrary number of “allowed” calls they fine you, drive you crazy with court paperwork, court appearances and finally actually close down your apartment building. I could drive you around west Stl and show you wrecked, vacant, stripped, boarded up multi family’s that 3 years ago were fully occupied and fell victim to their policy, were closed and emptied for a year. The investor couldn’t carry the note while the building was vacant, lost it to foreclosure, now its empty, delinquent on real estate taxes and will eventually end up deeded to the LRA who will carry it on their books through the end of time. Entire 30+ unit buildings ruined, vacant, foreclosed, deeded to the city, homeless people living in them, eyesores, hazards, non tax paying. Great policy.

  2. Wow, this is all scary as hell: a municipal government codifying wide-ranging clauses to strip the citizen of his or her status as resident for as little as annoying the public.

  3. If Steven’s world was acceptable, you could drive “undersirables” out of town by:
    1) Harass their property or persons multiple times so they have to call the police
    2) The city then decides to remove the victims because they were not victims, but a nuisance to the community by reporting crime to their property too many times.


    Isn’t the simple solution to jail the alleged abuser or tell HIM not to come back to the property again? Too sensible I guess.

  4. I live a few houses down from the Maplewood-City border and would greatly welcome this law in the City of St. Louis. It makes sense to a point that those who call the police more often are a nuisance to the city in which they live, as they are costing everyone tax paid man hours. It should not matter if the person who calls is innocent or not in regards to being considered a nuisance. The fact that they used services more often than other makes them a burden in the society in relation to the rest of their peers. When you call about the same issue multiple times and expect something different to occur from the outcome, that is insanity. No matter what situation you are in, you can leave as long as you have free will. It may be the hardest thing you have done, but you can. Cities should have the right to implement these laws and I feel it keeps Maplewood a safer place by deterring those with a greater need for supervision.

    • I do not agree with you at all. We as a society need to protect each other, and obviously you do not know anything about domestic abuse and battered women. Sadly it is closed minded comments like this that allow these things to perpetuate. There should be help given to those in these situations, not throwing them out of the community and thus making their difficult situation even more difficult.

    • I disagree strongly with you, Stephen. It should very much matter if one is innocent. May you never be victimized. If I choose to throw rocks through your window, on four occasions, and you call the police, you are a nuisance, according to your statement.

    • Steven, you are a burden on society. First of all, your belief that local podunk government officials (some of whom are elected with less than a few hundred votes) should be able to dictate where and how people live is helping create a nanny state in which everything is illegal and everyone is a criminal and we are taxed out the ears to make sure they pay for it. Second of all, the fact that you could be so callous towards you neighbors gives me all the information I need to declare you a burden on society.

      “You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:5. Why don’t you post your address and the community will make sure you are not a nuisance. Has your trash can ever been knocked over leaving some trash in your yard? That’s littering. Have you ever skipped mowing you yard, leaving vegetation to grow taller than 8″? That’s against zoning code. Do you have any peeling paint on your house or are there cracks in your driveway? That’s against the property maintenance code. I guarantee that you could be construed as a nuisance property owner if anyone cared to look.

    • Ugh, I guess the lady in question should have gotten a gun and shot his as*? Problem solved, right?

      I live in Maplewood. If I am being threatened, harassed or abused continuously, or someone is illegally on my property more than 1 time in a given timeframe, etc….or a myriad of other different scenarios which would prompt someone to call the police (however many times) I certainly wouldn’t want to have to worry about getting kicked out of my home after living here for 30 years.

    • This victim blaming needs to stop. Unless you’ve been in this kind of situation keep your mouth shut. People who are calling in this type of situation are not doing so because they are playing some kind of game or being a nuisance to society. They are calling because their lives are being threatened, which is a totally different thing in my opinion and also what the police are supposed to be there for. My sister went through this with her now ex-husband who was mentally and physically abusive to her and her children and who came after her when she moved back home. He tried on several occasions to beat the door down (there was a crack in the front door for months after) threatened to beat her and the kids bloody and even threatened other members of the family. He did all this despite a restraining order that was in place. The police needed to be called several times within the space of months to get him off the property and it was done completely for her and everyone in the neighborhoods safety. Things like that can escalate quickly and can put everyone nearby at risk not just the victim.