warning: file_exists(): open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/../ad_/ad_cache_.inc) is not within the allowed path(s): (/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/:/tmp/) in /var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/sites/all/modules/ad/adserve.inc on line 160.

Silver Lake landlord offers alternative to proposed city rental ordinance

A new voice has been raised on the issue of a potential rental ordinance in the city of Silver Lake, that of the city’s landlords. Several of them were in attendance at the City Council meeting on Feb. 17, voicing concern that the proposed ordinance puts too much burden on the city’s landlords.
A health and safety checklist was drafted by local landlord Harvey Mikolichek, which included safety standards regarding electrical outlets, entry locks and fire and health issues. He proposed that this more streamlined checklist be used to maintain standards in rental properties, in lieu of a lengthy ordinance.
The yearly walk-through would be carried out by the fire department, so any cost will go back to the city. Any violations would be referred to the appropriate department who would write out citations.
Mikolichek pointed out, the more extensive the ordinance, “the more liability you are putting on the city.” The proposed 20-page ordinance is similar to the one used in Glencoe and Lester Prairie.  City Clerk Kerry Venier spoke with retired Glencoe Fire Chief Bob Scheidt, who conducts inspections in Glencoe. He relayed that Scheidt says it works very well, and it has given the city some bite to get the issues resolved by the responsible landlord.
Mayor Bruce Bebo also had reservations about the ordinance. He noted that many of the items listed on the ordinance would be difficult to impossible to enforce.
One item he pointed out was a requirement that every habitable room must have at least half of its ceiling height be over seven feet, which would make a huge problem for property owners whose buildings have sloped ceilings on the top floor.
Bebo said, “I’d like to see how they enforce that.” He questioned, “Are we after safety? A room that’s under seven feet tall, is that a safety issue?”

For more, see the Feb. 25 print edition of The Chronicle.