DeKalb’s Committee of the Whole agenda for Monday includes a zombie ordinance.

Enclosed is an old draft of an ordinance prepared by Klein Thorpe, and Jenkins in which property maintenance items were at one time included in a former draft of the Chronic Nuisance ordinance.

The Housing Task Force rejected the ordinance, and Council already gave direction in this matter. Nevertheless, two council members (henceforth to be thought of as “Biernacki’s poodles” due to my having drawn personal conclusions) requested it be brought back onto the agenda.

The DeKalb Area Rental Association (DARA) has responded by pointing out that the agenda addition brings building code into proposals that were meant only to address residents’ behaviors.

What’s wrong with that? Potentially plenty. It means the zombie provisions are not tweaks, but rather constitute a proposal for a MAJOR POLICY SHIFT from code enforcement being a primarily a “civilian” activity to becoming a police function.

There are a lot of implications — not the least of which is the elimination of Public Works jobs — and they deserve their own discussions on the merits.

Make the jump to read the memo on this agenda item.

C. CONSIDERATIONS

1) CONSIDERATION OF AN ORDINANCE TO COMPLEMENT THE VARIOUS SAFE AND QUALITY HOUSING ORDINANCES AND INITIATIVES.

At the October 10, 2012 special meeting, the Council directed staff to prepare ordinances to implement several new quality and safe housing initiatives. These ordinances are as follows:

 Required crime free lease addendum
 Crime free training (required at first, cyclical thereafter)
 Annual registration of rental units with appropriate fee
 Disorderly House/Chronic Nuisance ordinance (with elevated penalties, inclusive of the prohibition of renting problem properties until pending issues are resolved)
 A “sidewalk” inspection program (conducted on a three year cycle)

Since the meeting, the City Manager has been asked by the Mayor and Alderman Teresinski to place on an agenda the consideration of an additional ordinance for possible adoption. This additional ordinance would complement the Disorderly House/Chronic Nuisance ordinance noted above by adding property maintenance items into the definition of “nuisances” that would count toward the three strikes clause with comparable penalties if compliance is not reached.

Enclosed is an old draft of an ordinance prepared by Klein Thorpe, and Jenkins in which property maintenance items were at one time included in a former draft of the Chronic Nuisance ordinance. During their deliberations, the Task Force deleted these items from being included as part of the “three strikes” list. Also enclosed is a list of those property maintenance violations that are related to life/safety or structural deficiencies. If Council is to proceed, staff suggests that the list be limited to these types of violations and not include the tall weeds, parking on the grass, chipped paint, etc. types of violations otherwise found in the property maintenance code.