Duluth Passes Rental Code Reform, New Fees and Repeal of 300-ft. Rule

By KBJR News 1

December 20, 2010 Updated Dec 21, 2010 at 3:10 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - A busy night at the Duluth city council as they passed a new rental ordinance, raised fees and passed the repeal of the 300-foot rule.

After a long discussion, councilors came to an agreement on the fee changes

There was a lot of discussion and disputes over how large some of the fees should be, in particular, the rental conversion fees.

With the new rental reform, the council president, Jeff Anderson, says landlords will have financial incentives to both create more off–street parking and convert less homes into rental properties.

Some new fees added include a $100 fee for each required, off–street parking space not provided.

A $25 licensing fee for each bedroom or unit, on top of the base licensing fee of $250.

And the most expensive change comes in the rental conversion fees.

Changing a single or multi–tenant home into a rental will put you back $1,000 and $3,500, respectively.

Council President Jeff Anderson says the rental reform is long overdue.

"It's moving us in the direction in where, instead of providing a blanket rule that affects thousands of homeowners, like the 300–foot rule, in my opinion is unfair. Instead now we're governing through regulation that provides financial disincentives to convert."

The council voted for the rental reform changes to go into effect March14.

With the rental reform ordinance passing, councilors repealed the controversial 300-foot rule, that prohibits new rental properties within 300 feet of an existing rental property in the protection zone near UMD and St. Scholastica.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike