Landwehr Properties Could Spark City Ordinance Changes

Landwehr Properties Could Spark City Ordinance Changes Click to Enlarge Photo: Jake Judd (KNSI)

Mar 21, 2017 at 10:16 am

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI) - Properties owned by Don and Vicki Landwehr that were cited by the City of St. Cloud for violations, could spark changes in a city ordinance.

Four properties owned by the Landwehr's under contract for deeds, were issued citations for property maintenance violations.

The city has now dismissed those citations.

"So today we're at the point where all the property maintenance issues have been met, with the exception of just a few," City Administrator Matthew Staehling said.

Under the city's current policy they only communicate violations to the resident, not the property owner.

City Administrator Matthew Staehling says the new ordinance will communicate violations to the resident and the property owner.

That change will nullify an property owner's potential defense saying they didn't know about the violations, so they couldn't make the appropriate changes.

"We would also be communicating with the landlord or the contract for deed holder, that is a little bit of a change from what our practice has been in the past," Staehling said.

The change in the ordinance would also allow the city to require someone operating a rental property under the disguise of a contract for deed ownership, to have a rental license.

"The council does support an ordinance that more delineates contract for deeds from rental properties. It was pretty important to the council that we don't penalize legitimate contract for deed holders, that there's a few bad apples out there and those are the folks we really want to go after," Council member Jeff Johnson said.

It won't come before the council until April or May.

The city is also looking at an ordinance that would fine nuisance properties and repeat offenders with three or more violations.

No dollar amount has been set for the fines, but the city is looking at pro-rating different costs associated with their different departments responding.

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