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Debate on property enhancement delayed

September 26, 2011

Monmouth residents and the city council want to “stop the bleeding” according to the Director of Community Development Paul Schuytema.  Nearly fifteen people gathered for a City Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 19, when the topic of property enhancement was scheduled to be discussed, but was dropped from the agenda without explanation.

What citizens and city council members are realizing is that there are a lot of structures that aren’t being maintained as well as they could be.  Mayor Davies would like to see what can be done long-term to undo the wear and tear.  A lot of this decay comes from older, larger, Victorian-style homes turned into multi-family apartments.  The problem with these multi-family apartments is that the houses are converted to apartment units where they aren’t allowed.  Zoning information is on the city of Monmouth’s website which states the proper areas for this type of housing.

Schuytema understands that “a little work takes a long time”, researching other communities with similar demographics is important to see what works and what doesn’t work.  Rental inspection will be done in the future to enhance maintenance levels.   Inspection will not affect college dorms or lower income housing because both are already inspected to stricter standards.  After an inspection, rentals will be registered with the city and given a certificate that is good for three years.  This certificate will be good for the landlord, current renters and prospective renters.

According to the City of Monmouth’s website, “[t]o be able to assist the public in defining and understanding the different codes in our office” is just part of their mission.

The issue is now scheduled to come before the council on Oct. 17th.


Kelsey Lewis

Contributing Writer

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