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Letters to the Editor

Enforcing codes

October 21, 2010

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To the editor:

As the city codes are now enforced, it is apparently easy to cheat and fill rental houses with many more occupants than allowed by city codes. Codes in single-family zoned neighborhoods are intended to protect affordable housing stock for families and neighbors from disruptive renters. No more than three unrelated individuals are allowed to live in a house in this zoning area. In multi-family neighborhoods, codes are intended to protect density and the livability of an area. No more than four unrelated individuals may live in a house in this zoning area.

Many landlords rent to more persons than allowed. Renting a home to six or eight people naturally brings in a much higher rent — $500 (a common individual rent) times 6 or 8 equals $3,000 to $4,000 a month. While the money is good for the landlord, there is often a negative impact on the neighborhood. Restoration of older homes becomes even more difficult as home prices are driven up by the money they can generate versus the physical condition of the home.

City codes, just like laws, are made to create order, civility and planning for healthy communities. Rule breakers create problems for everyone. There is always a process to change codes if they are unfair. Presently there is only a rental inspection program in single-family zoned neighborhoods. I hope that the city will seriously look into more effective ways to enforce their present blight codes and consider future rental inspections in multi-family zoned neighborhoods. City code enforcement officers cannot do their jobs without meaningful enforcement tools.

Candice Davis,

Lawrence

Comments

sunny 3 years, 6 months ago

Candice....Move out west! KU was there before you were honey

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 6 months ago

He who has the gold rules. Hence: The Golden Rule

get a life folks and quit worrying about houses. houses, ku football and basketball is an obsession in Lawrence KS and the Civil War, a community that is NOT civil , a community that cannot even have trees trimmed , alleys maintained, proper drainage on streets(just wait until next spring when the potholes are right back!!) Houston is a big city, lots of housing, commercial and to compare "anything goes" for Houston to a podunk small town like Lawrence is hardly worth commenting on. but since this beaujackson wants to compare HOuston to Lawrence, explain then why Houston has branch libraries and Lawrence does NOT.

Houston even has a Red Lobster too.

Wonder what the "unneighborly groups" are like in Houston?

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beaujackson 3 years, 6 months ago

Lawrence "pretends" to enforce zoning ordinances.

The reality: its similar to Houston, where anything goes if you have the money.

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 6 months ago

And wilbur is off to lunch on his horse, speaking of horses, check out "whoa" to Horse Ranches and the Rio Verde residents, Sarah Anderson of the AZ Republic did a mighty fine job of linking horses and humans.

"people having concerns does not mean there is an actual concern" Scott McCullough

have a good day folks and keep arguing . life is too short, there is life outside of Lawrence!

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 6 months ago

Food for thought . It may be time for "rental property" owners to demand owner occupied homes be brought up to date. Who wants and owner occupied home next to a restored "rental" if the owner occupied home is bighted with air stream trailers, privacy fences blighted with graffitti, garages ready to fall over, autos parked at the rear with expired plates and on non improved parking surfaces.

What say Mr. McCullough?

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 6 months ago

First of all, ms davis is inaccurate. The current RM 32 zoning in Oread allows FOUR unrelated occupants per UNIT. A house could have several apartments. Thus allowing for more than the four that ms davis has cited. Secondly, a duplex can have 3 bedrooms in each unit and the duplex can still have FOUR persons in the 3 bedroom unit. yes, that is fact. Now then the city has a square foot occupancy rule, but we know that is not enforced unless Mr. McCullough plans to send out a tape measure to insure that each occupant has so many square feet per person. When ms. davis speaks of saving older homes and that they should be affordable, is she perhaps speaking of buying them herself along with others to use as rentals.

Does the city require a permint to install concrete parking areas behind a house? Maybe ms. davis could explain if that is needed since she is now an expert on rentals and saving old houses.

This issue has never been about saving old houses and restoring them, it has since the well over 50 years ago been about renting space because KU is adjacent to the properties that ms. davis and others have so long concerned themselves with.

Folks, this is about LAND and making money. There are some who don't like it if others make money. Some early on in the game made the money by disguising themselves as needy and got 3% loans . It so happened that they served on the various committees and thus were privy to the money to be made available. Now those who partook of the program are in the legislature, local attorneys, professors at KU. There were none of the blue collar laborers from local factories and/or workers in downtown businesses.

For ms. davis to suggest that inspection on multi family "homes" is proper, is she willing to lobby for inspection of all rental units above downtown lawrence buildings, all rental units that KU operates, all rental units in other multi family zoned areas i.e. apt complexes.

I

Hate to inform ms. davis and her friends, but the lenders are controlling the game now. When the county raises taxes through mill levy increases, such as voting yes for the library, ms. davis will then have to charge more than $500 per person and when her rent exceeds that then she too will be figuring out how to pay her mortgage.

Quite frankly, anyone the age of ms. davis, wilbur or anyone over 50 is dumb to buy rentals in Lawrence , Kansas. They should be buying where the real bargains are and where there is life after death. Rentals is Lawrence is death. It's too tedious and the wrong market to make money in and have any kind of cash flow.

Only people with deep pockets would buy a rental in Lawrence now and they would pay cash because then the return is more than a CD. The headache though of dealing with the city and those who want what someone else has is not worth it.

Good luck to ms. davis and the first time her tenants trash the place she won't be a happy landord either, nor her partner in investments.

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HedleyLamarrr 3 years, 6 months ago

what city ordinance requires a license for a home office?

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Zachary Stoltenberg 3 years, 6 months ago

My dad used to say it's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. Listen to this piece of advice. The problem, Christie, is that even when an investor goes through the long and arduous process of developing a project that meets code, satisfies the concerns of the neighbors, and has approval of historic resources, you and your merry band of uninformed idiots still show up to protest. When you move your illegal business office out of a neighborhood that isn't zoned for it, then you will gain the right to criticize others. Until then, sit down, shut up, and refrain from speaking about issues you have little to no knowledge or understanding of. Your open mouth is costing other people lots of money and one of these days, you are going to be legally liable for the loss of income others have incurred due to your actions. You and Carol and Marcy all the other barking idiots can have a big cakewalk around every public meeting but sooner or later, all your words are going to catch up with you and it's going to cost you dearly.

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Michael Capra 3 years, 6 months ago

nice squirrel u hit the nail on the head with those tree huggers

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flyin_squirrel 3 years, 6 months ago

Candy,

Restoration of older homes is not going to happen unless the rents can cover the cost. And if you only have 3 unrelated people living in a house, the rents will support a $150,000 house. Once you buy the property, you would have less than $20,000 for renovations (and that is if you could get a house for $130K). $20k wouldn't even cover bringing the electrical and plumbing up to code.

What Candy and her other merry women (Kyle you fall into this category as well) fail to realize is the long term implications of their actions. Their actions have made it cost prohibitive for anyone to renovate a house, so they are encouraging blight. Their long term goal is to make the Oread a "family neighborhood", which the chances of that ever happening are less than KU winning the National Title in football this year. And since houses will not be renovated by investors, investors will buy blocks of rundown by neglect houses and turn them into apartments (see Varsity House).

Wake up Candy, Marcy, Carol, and Kyle, because before you know it you are going to be houses in a sea of apartment complexes.

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hipper_than_hip 3 years, 6 months ago

The inspectors only do what Scott McCullough tells them to do; you want change, then get rid of McCullough.

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justforfun 3 years, 6 months ago

How bout this, Candice just shut up!! Most are tired of your complaining and give you no merit so just stop!

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northtown 3 years, 6 months ago

Jsut file a complaint with the city on any code that you think is being violated.Then the city will take a look see,only way to get Lawrence to enforce codes-Now get those signs off of the public right of way now!!!!!!!! Little city,Big Plans??????

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Michael Capra 3 years, 6 months ago

candice shame on you!!! didnt you break the code by not having the proper license to have a office in your home where you run your biz.Yes you did so how can you point the finger

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 6 months ago

"City code enforcement officers cannot do their jobs without meaningful enforcement tools."

Nor can the inspection process be performed properly without enough inspectors which also compounds the problem as we speak.

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