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Letter: City must boost code enforcement

4:58 PM, Apr. 11, 2013  |  Comments
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The Old Main Neighborhood Association (OMNA) strongly urges and requests the Stevens Point Common Council take action to increase enforcement of current zoning ordinances relating to rental properties. Increased enforcement should focus on the following areas.

1. Unlicensed rental properties - These are homes that operate as rental properties with multiple occupants even though they are zoned and taxed as single-family dwellings. Not only do they compete unfairly with other legitimate rental operations - apartments and legally licensed rental properties that pay higher tax rates - they also often don't conform to existing regulations and may pose a potential hazard to students and others who live in them.

2. Unenforced rental property ordinances - OMNA has received comments from its members and non-members of code violations that would endanger the occupants. Some of the most serious violations concern wiring, plumbing, ventilation, parking, fire codes, occupancy rates and snow removal. Failing to adequately enforce existing ordinances perpetuates the continued degradation and decline of our neighborhood and ultimately a loss in our investments in our homes

3. OMNA strongly supports the recodification and updating of current ordinances relating to rental properties.

4. OMNA strongly supports any action by the Common Council, which would encourage single-family or owner-occupied home sales in our area of the city. We ask that new creative initiatives, collaborations and funding options be sought to encourage owner-occupied ownership.

Our neighborhood is along the major corridor to downtown Stevens Point. To allow it to continue to degrade due to lack of proper enforcement of the ordinances undermines not only our neighborhood, but the downtown revitalization efforts, the university and the Stevens Point community as a whole. We believe these initiatives will increase safety in rental properties and in the neighborhood, provide fairer taxation, increase owner-occupied homes, provide a more fair business environment for existing rental properties, enhance the university, downtown and greater community of Stevens Point.

These issues affect residents all over the city, whether they are homeowners or renters. We strongly encourage all who can to attend Monday's Common Council meeting to voice your concerns.

Wade Mahon

Stevens Point

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