I feel that our City Council needs to re-examine city codes as they pertain to apartment buildings. I feel that neighborhoods are being unfairly penalized by having to deal with the fallout caused by inadequate city codes. I am talking about, garbage, inadequate maintenance, inadequate parking, damage to fences and dogs.
I live next to an older three-story apartment building. When it was owned by a local man, he did a good job of maintenance. He even had a tenant on site who got a discount on her rent in exchange for keeping the property picked up and reporting any needed repairs. Now there is an undersized dumpster (to save money?) with garbage piled up and the lids rarely closed attracting all kinds of critters including feral cats not to mention the garbage that ends up elsewhere. Now there are dogs with owners who take them to poop on the neighbors lawn because there is no space for this on the property. The two wooden balconies are falling apart. For many months there has been a dangerous opening in one of the balconies (caused by a missing slat) that a small child can fall through. My wire fence is ruined by the landlord and the tenants piling debris on it and along it, especially due to the placement of the dumpster. The sidewalk along the side of the building is never cleared of weeds in the summer and snow in the winter. There are too many cars for the lot so they park tight in front of the main door with inadequate clearance for emergency vehicles on that side. (There is another door but that would mean parking on the street itself.)
I have spoken to Code Enforcement and was told about the warnings and the time allowed, etc. But I also learned that there are no penalties for repeat offenders. This makes no sense. This would just encourage landlords to delay and reoffend and it makes the city government look woefully incompetent or willfully determined to give special treatment. And think of all the time wasted by Code Enforcement chasing these people that could be put to better use. Dont homeowners matter?
I would suggest that laws be enacted and enforced requiring: adequate sized dumpsters for each apartment building,( dumpsters that can be easily opened and closed to prevent exposed garbage), restrictions on the number of cars allowed based on the size of the lot, an adequate enclosed area for dogs for those apartment buildings which allow dogs, a tenant designated to pick up trash and report maintenance issues, and a landlord-installed proper fence to separate the property and the wear and tear of so many transient people from affecting the neighbors. Lastly, the city needs strong repeat offender penalties.
These measures would make things better for the tenants as well.