The topic of creating a permitting process for rental properties in New London came under fire from Alderman Tom O’Connell at the April New London Common Council meeting.
O’Connell noticed the topic in the Planning Commission minutes as it related to Chapter 15 of the Municipal Housing and Fair Housing Code.
City council amended the ordinance earlier in the meeting, to facilitate new changes in the New London Utility disconnections policy that is forthcoming.
The changes will classify any dwelling without electric or water service as uninhabitable, and allow the city to placard the buildings as such, and enforce the placard.
The council also passed the first reading of an ordinance creating Section 9.45 of the Municipal Code prohibiting fraudulent tapping of electric wires, water meters or gas services. This motion also was created to facilitate the new changes forthcoming in the utility disconnection policy.
O’Connell raised the question about Chapter 15.
Prior to the vote on amending Chapter 15, O’Connell asked, “Does that mean that all rental properties will be registered now?”
Mayor Gary Henke said, “No. That is still to come. That’s another issue Tom, but it is coming.”
The motion to amend Chapter 15 carried unanimously.
Later in the meeting, O’Connell was reviewing minutes of the Planning Commission in his council packet.
The Planning Commission minutes noted that Zoning Administrator Paul Hanlon advised Chapter 15 does not have a permitting process for rental properties, other than a requirement for licensing of “Rooming Houses.”
According to the minutes, Hanlon suggested all rental properties be registered and updated on an annual basis. Doing so would give the city a comprehensive list of all landlords and all of the dwellings that are being used for rentals. In the minutes, he informed the commission that it could be done without charging a fee. It also said that members were in favor of the recommendation.
In the other comments portion of the meeting, O’Connell asked to reconsider his vote on Chapter 15.
“I voted with the prevailing side and I move to reconsider ordinance amending Chapter 15 of the Fair Housing Code,” said O’Connell.
He believed it included language requiring rental properties to be registered.
“I’m asking to reconsider because I don’t like that in there,” he added.
The council chambers fell quiet.
“No second?” O’Connell said. “Everybody else is all for landlords being registered? That’s from the Planning Commission, not from you,” said O’Connell. “You didn’t bring it in, East Central brought it in.”
Henke corrected O’Connell.
“That was not them that brought that up Tom. That was us. We’ve talked about that for several years on the Planning Commission,” said Henke.
O’Connell’s motion to reconsider failed due to a lack of a second.