Scottville Planning Commission recommending rental inspection ordinance.

March 8, 2017

scottville_sign_1Scottville Planning Commission recommending rental inspection ordinance.

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SCOTTVILLE — The Scottville Planning Commission, during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, recommended the City Commission adopt a residential rental inspection ordinance. The proposed ordinance, as presented by the Planning Commission, would be identical to the City of Ludington’s residential rental ordinance, which has been in effect there for just over a year.

“We wanted to maintain a level of continuity between the two communities so there wasn’t confusion among the property owners,” said Rob Alway, Planning Commission chairman. “We have heard positive feedback from the City of Ludington about its program and we believe this is in the best interest of the citizens of Scottville.

“The Planning Commission has been discussing a rental inspection ordinance for the past year. We’ve wanted to wait and see how it worked out in Ludington before we proceeded.”

The proposed ordinance would require landlords to register properties that are being used for residential rentals. Those failing to do so would face fines. The ordinance would also allow the city to conduct inspections of rental units to determine that the units are safe for residents.

City Manager Amy Williams said a fee structure would have to be worked out. It is likely the fee structure would mirror Ludington’s.

“The fees would cover the costs of the inspector and inspections,” Williams said. “It is likely that the city will break even on this program.”

The city already has an ordinance that allows it to require negligent property owners to maintain the exterior of their properties. Over the past three or four years, cleaning up blight has been the top goal of the City Commission. However, the city is unable to inspect the interiors of rented properties.

“Ordinances such as this are becoming common place among municipalities,” Alway said. “In addition to Ludington, we also know that the cities of Manistee and Hart also have rental inspection ordinances. We believe that this ordinance will protect Scottville from negligent landlords who have decided to leave those cities that already have ordinances in place and then turn around an buy property in Scottville because it’s not regulated. We also believe this will make our community a safer place to live, which is the most important part of this ordinance.”

The proposed ordinance will be presented to City Commission during its March 20 regular meeting. Williams said at that time city commissioners may choose to hold a first reading of the ordinance as presented, to reject the proposal, or to send it to the city’s ordinance committee for further review.

This story is copyrighted © 2017 by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion may be reproduced without expressed written consent.

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