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City Council strikes disputed section of Housing Master Plan

After listening to a range of citizens voice their concerns over Section O of the Housing Master Plan, the Bowling Green City Council amended the resolution to remove the offending section at last night’s meeting.

According to City Council President Megan Newlove, Section O called for a licensing inspection of properties owned by landlords in the city of Bowling Green, which would allow inspectors to look over both the exterior and interior of properties. The call for inspections came after a number of dilapidated houses were thought to be bringing down the property values of neighborhoods.

‘There is nothing else we can do tonight [to fix Section O],’ Ward 4 Councilman Mike Frost said. ‘The single thing we can do is eliminate it from the language in front of us and come back to it at a later time.’

Although the Housing Master Plan and Section O were technically split to create two separate issues, the council members agreed unanimously that Section O be revisited and discussed at a later time in order to make progress.

Section O was also brought to the attention of Undergraduate Student Government because of the effect the passage of the resolution would have on the 8,000 off-campus students, and brought these issues to the council.

USG Vice President Sundeep Mutgi said Section O would cause landlords to charge students for the inspections, which could range from $20 to $400.

‘Maybe you leave a bag of trash out, and the inspection takes place,’ Mutgi said. ‘All of a sudden, you have to worry about getting cited for that.’

USG President John Waynick said the worst thing about Section O is the fact that a lot of the people agreeing with the resolution often lose sight of who it will ultimately affect – the student renters.

And in an effort to fix the negative generalizations associated with student renters, Waynick and Mutgi said they are working closely with Assistant Dean of Students Andy Alt to improve the off-campus LISTSERV.

Lawyer Steve Green, who has an office in town, also disagreed with the effects that would be passed down by Section O.

‘Rather than creating new legislation or ordinances, use what we have to solve this,’ Green said. ‘Why would you license and inspect every landlord, when in fact, most of them are not a problem?’

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