CP lifts ban on new rental units
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent September 1, 2012 7:22PM
Updated: October 3, 2012 6:18AM
CROWN POINT — Mayor David Uran has lifted his executive order placing a moratorium on new permits for multifamily dwellings within the city.
The order, issued Jan. 24, 2011 called for a temporary moratorium to the city’s zoning code so no new permits for multifamily, nonowner-occupied dwellings would be issued. The order came after several forums with residents and stakeholders.
Since then, the city has reviewed its zoning codes and passed an ordinance establishing the annual registration of rental properties within its borders and providing for inspections of those properties by the city, two steps Uran said were necessary before he would lift the moratorium.
“This doesn’t mean with will be flooded with petitions. It just means the order is rescinded,” Uran said.
Owners of rental properties in the city have until Dec. 28 of this year to register those properties and sign up for inspections. Christopher Meyers, building administrator, said so far 15 owners have registered their properties.
The rental registry ordinance was not without controversy. Both the Indiana Apartment Association and the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors came out against the ordinance as it is currently worded.
Councilman Robert Clemons, who was part of the committee to come up with the ordinance, said he knows it is not perfect but it is a solid foundation.
“It’s not completely flawless but it’s workable,” Clemons said.
Lynne Sullivan, president and CEO of the Indiana Apartment Association, said the news lifting the moratorium on multifamily dwellings is welcome. Sullivan said the association raised the issue of rescinding the moratorium as it worked with the city during the process establishing the rental registration and inspection ordinance.
“We are very happy to see that (the moratorium) has been rescinded,” Sullivan said.
She said there is a need for affordable housing throughout the state and the market ultimately will determine when and how many new multifamily dwellings may petition the city for permits. She said she is not aware of any market studies going on in the city right now.
The association still is not completely satisfied with the final version of the rental registry and inspection ordinance and is hopeful the opportunity still exists to work with the city.
“We’d really like to work with them to get some language in it to better serve apartment owners and the city,” Sullivan said.