Crown Point rental-unit registration deadline looms
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent December 21, 2012 5:12PM
Updated: January 23, 2013 6:08AM
CROWN POINT — So far a little more than 25 percent of the city’s known residential rental properties have been registered as required under a new city ordinance.
Property owners have three more business days to register their properties before the Dec. 28 deadline.
Christopher Meyers, planning director, said by midday Friday 236 buildings and 730 total units were registered with the city. That number is continually changing. Meyers said he expects more people to come in as the deadline approaches. Meyers said the department will accept registrations at the Civic Center on Dec. 28 in anticipation of a large number of last-minute filers.
Once those properties are registered with the city, Christopher Meyers, city planner, will begin to track the data using a $20,086 computer program from Franklin Information Systems approved Friday by the Board of Works and Public Safety for purchase.
Mayor David Uran said officials anticipated the need for this type of software when they contemplated the rental property ordinance. Property owners are required to register each rental property annually with the city for a fee and submit to annual inspections.
“(The software) is the next step in making sure we are tracking the ones who are in compliance and the ones who are not,” Uran said.
Meyers said he will use data from the 2010 U.S. Census and information from the clerk-treasurer’s office, which does the city’s utility billing, to identify rental properties within the city and bring them into compliance with the new ordinance. Census data show there are 2,081 rental units in the city. City water bills show there are 2,500.
The software will contain data such as the address of rental properties and the number of units they contain and will help officials better track the properties to find those not in compliance. The information will be particularly valuable to emergency responders who can be caught off-guard when responding to a call to what appears to be a single-family residential home that has been converted into multiple units, Meyers said.
Information cataloged in the software can be used across departments.
“It can be mutually beneficial,” Meyers said.
Documenting the rental properties will also enable the city to better work with the Lake County Assessor’s office to ensure the city is getting the correct tax dollars, Uran said.