October 01, 2023

Council discusses rental admin. policy

The proposed rental housing registration and inspection process in Creston starts with an inspection.

On Tuesday, Creston City Council discussed changes to the proposed rental housing administrative policy. One change specifically looked at the wording under the inspection scheduling.

“Kiki [Scarberry] made this nice chart to show the process and steps for the inspections and the language at the bottom of page three at the very end and the date didn’t match the same process, so I just want to edit that so it all flows together,” councilmember Jocelyn Blazek said.

The policy states registration is done before the inspection, while it will actually be running the other way around. This is in order to give proper certification to landlords according to the inspection results.

City Administrator Mike Taylor suggested a new phrase, with the date just an assumption.

“Beginning January 1, 2024, rental properties shall be inspected in the following order: Wards one and five in 2024, Wards two and three in 2025, Ward four in 2026,” Taylor said. “Any properties that are converted to rental housing must be reported to the Creston Public Works office within six months of conversion. Subsequent inspections shall be in accordance with the standard scheduling process outlined previously.”

Blazek also suggested exceptions to some of the inspection checklist items the first time around.

“When we reviewed the checklist, there were a few things on here that we wanted to focus on the first three years and there were a few things that, while they’ll still be inspected, they won’t necessarily receive a strike against them,” Blazek said. “This very first time around, they’ll just be told, you’ve got however many years until we come back to address this.”

Items not required for the first inspection focus on exterior aesthetics, such as visibility of house numbers, debris and brush in the yard and exterior paint.

“Most of the ones address aesthetically, not functionality,” councilmember Matt Levine said. “I think that if we’re leaving the things in that are most protecting the people, that’s great, and things that are more how it looks and we give them a pass this first time, I don’t think that’s a bad idea.”

No action was taken.

In other council news...

A public hearing was set for 6 p.m. Sept. 19 regarding amendments to ordinances pertaining to liquor licenses and cigarette and tobacco permits due to legislative updates.

A public hearing was also set for this time and date regarding vacating and selling a north-south alley between 106 N. Bureau and 105 N. Park streets.

The council approved the purchase of a climbing wall for the McKinley Park Aquatic Center for $25,266, paid from MPAC funds. Councilmember Steve Wintermute expressed concerns for safety, but Taylor assured him that safety features would be similar to the diving board procedures.

The purchase was approved 6-1, with only Wintermute voting nay.

Erin Henze

Originally from Wisconsin, Erin is a recent graduate from UW-Stevens Point. Outside of writing, she loves to read and travel.