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Silver Lake City Council debates ordinance regarding rental units

The proposed ordinance to add occupancy regulations to the zoning code in Silver Lake prompted a discussion of many questions and very few answers.  
The City Council reviewed the proposed ordinance at its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 20. City Clerk Kerry Venier presented the Council the ordinance, drawn up by City Attorney Jody Winters, which is similar to the ordinance in effect in Lester Prairie.  
The ordinance included definitions of the terms commonly used in the ordinance, such as dwelling unit, extermination, occupant and plumbing.  Twenty-two definitions were reviewed by the council, who saw no objections to any of them. The remaining contents of the ordinance were the standards that would be set forth for a rental unit in the city of Silver Lake. These included sanitation, mechanical and electrical requirements, as well as fire protection and exit locations.  
Mayor Bruce Bebo thought that there were too many requirements in the list for the city to be able to effectively enforce them and still maintain the safety in the rental units.
Citizen Donavan Holpberg, a landlord in the city, came in and voiced that very concern. He asked what landlords could expect from the city, because some of the proposed rules would be impossible for landlords to adhere to, depending on the type of property they rented out.
Bebo agreed.
“These 25 things could be whittled down to 15 to be more practical,” he said.

For more, see the Jan. 28 print edition of The Chronicle.