Lebanon Reporter

March 1, 2013

Outcry halts rental inspection ordinance

By Sarah Lang and Marda Johnson
The Lebanon Reporter

Lebanon — A property maintenance code addressing rental properties passed on its first reading by the Lebanon City Council Monday, but it failed to gain enough votes to become an ordinance on its second reading Wednesday, after the council heard concerns from nearly 20 people.

Several — but not all — of the council members changed their minds after the outcry, which came largely from local landlords prior to the second vote.

It was enough to kill the proposed ordinance for the evening and possibly permanently, because of a new state law being enacted today.

The proposed Lebanon ordinance had been in the works for quite some time, but Indiana House Bill 1313, which was recently passed, takes away municipalities’ ability to collect fees for the inspections at the heart of Lebanon’s proposed ordinance.

Several dozen people showed up at Wednesday’s meeting where Charlie Campbell, planning and zoning director for the city, addressed the questions and rumors he said he’d heard circulating since the first vote on the proposed ordinance Monday.

The reason the city was moving quickly on the final vote was because of the impending change in state law, but he assured the crowd that work on the proposed ordinance had been done publicly over a long period of time.

House Bill 1313, sponsored by Rep. Mike Speedy of Indianapolis, takes away the city’s rights to charge a fee on a rental unit for any purpose except relating to the unit’s construction.

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