Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 19, 2014

Maintenance and rental ordinances to be unveiled Tuesday

By David Hotle | Aug 08, 2014

After six months of discussion, work and revision, the City of Washington’s rental inspection and property maintenance ordinance committee is ready to show the Washington City Council the end result of its work.
Committee chair Kathy Salazar said today that the ordinance revisions that the eight-member committee determined, would be given to the council during a work session at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Washington Public Library. Salazar said that the draft ordinances that will be presented to the council are also available on the City of Washington Web site. She said the online draft has marked in red the subjects in the city’s ordinances that were changed.
“We had a started product to work from,” Salazar said. “We had a copy of a draft ordinance showing what was being done in various other communities. We modified the ordinances to fit Washington.”
She said that in the property maintenance ordinance, the committee had chosen to remain close to the standards required in state codes governing such things as building, plumbing, electrical and structural. For the rental inspection code, she said that the committee is recommending rental inspections every three years. She also said that the ordinance would require all rental property in the city to be registered.
Both Salazar and city administrator Brent Hinson believed that some time would be given during the meeting for public comment, although Hinson stressed that this is not a public hearing.
The changes to the ordinances are part of the city council’s plan of action on recommendations made over a year ago by the former Housing Task Force. After the council received draft ordinance revisions, Salazar had recommended that a committee be formed to further narrow down the ordinance to suit Washington.
“The goal is to improve the quality of rental stock and the properties in town,” Salazar said. “We want to make sure that the properties rented are maintained accordingly.”

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