Sharpsburg rental inspection rules changing
Revisions to Sharpsburg's rules on inspections and rental properties are coming into focus.
Councilman Lou DeLuca presented changes to the ordinance last year. He, along with Councilwoman Karen Pastor and Barb Ruhle, utilities administrator, had worked on updating regulations.
Under the proposal, rental properties would be inspected once in a two-year cycle instead of annually. The cost would be $60 every two years instead of $50 each year.
DeLuca said inspections could happen more than once per cycle if there is a fire, complaints are received or occupancy changes.
“Even though it's been inspected, we can reinspect,” DeLuca said.
The revisions also add a fee if appointments for inspections are missed. DeLuca said often an appointment is made, but when the inspector arrives, the landlord or tenant is not at the site.
“To avoid that, what this does is set a fee after the second time,” DeLuca said.
That cost would be $30. Council President Renee Procopio said the added fee is fair.
“If you make a doctor's appointment or a dentist appointment and you cancel and you don't show, they'll charge you,” Procopio said.
A $30 fee also was added for appeals.
Appeals are heard by the zoning hearing board and code-enforcement officer.
Procopio said that fee is needed to pay the code officers to attend hearings.
DeLuca noted that most violations are clear, and many appeals are unlikely. Still, procedures for those cases are needed.
“In some cases there may be some gray areas,” DeLuca said.
Councilman Tony Sacco objected to that fee. He said the fee should be refundable if the appeal is won. Under the proposal, it would be a nonrefundable fee.
The borough solicitor will review the proposal and advise officials before a final decision is made.
Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.