Is Marx flip-flopping on rental inspection ordinance?
September 25, 2016
Amid public outrage over a rental inspection program, San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx asked city staff to put the city’s rental inspection ordinance on a March agenda for review and discussion. Marx said she selected a date five months away in order to provide staff time to gather information about the ordinance.
Marx, who previously promoted the ordinance, is currently running for reelection. Many city residents have opposed the program, arguing it constitutes government intrusion and a tax on rentals.
In May 2015, the city council voted 3-2 to adopt the ordinance that allows an inspector to enter and examine rental units to determine if the properties are safe and habitable. The ordinance also requires landlords to pay a fee to fund the program.
Mayor Jan Marx, Councilman John Ashbaugh and Councilwoman Carlyn Christianson support the program. They contend there are deteriorating neighborhoods in the city where landlords do little to maintain their properties and government oversight is needed.
Carpenter and Councilman Dan Rivoire voted against the rental inspection program, and have continued to ask that it be discontinued.
Late last month, Councilman Dan Carpenter and two local attorneys unveiled a plan to strike San Luis Obispo’s controversial rental inspection program through the initiative process.
The proponents of the measure have 180 days to collect the signatures of 15 percent of registered voters in the city, or roughly about 3,900 signatures. If successful, the measure will then go to the people for a vote, unless removed first by the SLO City Council.