Group explores referendum option in effort to force city to target tenants rather than the property owners.
By Doug Page
Thursday, December 27, 2007
PIQUA — A landlord group is considering challenging the city’s new property maintenance ordinances, calling them intolerable.
“I’m looking into our options for a referendum,” said Chuck Starrett, president of the landlord group POINT. “We’ve just been trying to slow them (the city) down, for them to be reasonable.”
Last week, after the required three readings over three meetings, the City Commission passed a package of eight ordinances to make the city’s efforts at code enforcement more effective.
The ordinances provide an alternative to criminal action for violations. City staff believes the new procedures will lead to better and quicker response from property owners to problems.
Landlords complained the problems are often caused by their tenants’ actions. They want the tenants targeted rather than the property owners.
“We can’t find suitable tenants,” Starrett told the City Commission last week. “We’re starving to death. … We can not tolerate this.”
The past three commission meetings have been contentious with landlords telling the commissioners they are being harassed; that the city is practicing selective enforcement; and the city should clean up its own properties.
“What I’m hearing outside of the meetings from private property owners is, ‘Don’t give in to them,’ ” City Manager Fred Enderle said. “And I think the commissioners are hearing the same.”
Contact this reporter at (937) 335-3838 or dpage@DaytonDailyNews.com