PLATTEVILLE — After a year of work by a task force, the Platteville Common Council approved on a 5–2 vote changes to the city’s rental code June 26.
Most of the changes focused on the last part of the rental code, chapter 33.31, sanctions against rental licenses.
The biggest change was eliminating the never-implemented points system against tenants and landlords. No city employee was ever assigned to keep track of points against landlords or tenants.
“I do not favor taking out the points system when you don’t have anything better to replace it with,” said District 4 Ald. Ken Kilian.
Kilian said section 33.31 “imposes sanctions for multiple violations, and there’s no number given. The point system took care of that as far as the relative severity of the citations.”
When at-large Ald. Dick Bonin asked whether the points system would create more work for city staff, Kilian replied that was “conjecture as far as you’re going to keep track of 2,000 units. You place emphasis on the most violators.”
Kilian authored a motion to set the number of violations for which sanctions would be issued at three, instead of “multiple,” as the code previously was worded.
“Once they get to three, something needs to be done,” said Kilian.
The amendment passed 4–3, with Bonin, Common Council President Mike Dalecki and at-large Ald. Patrice Steiner opposed.
The ordinance passed 5–2, with Steiner and District 2 Ald. Eileen Nickels opposed.
Sanctions are issued by the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals, which replaced the city’s Rental Review Board. Like the points system, the Rental Review Board was not fully implemented.
The city issues three classes of licenses. Class A units, rentals that meet city standards, get three-year licenses. Also getting three-year licenses are Class B units, which have “minor infractions” not including access or are “not a serious health and safety threat to the occupants or to the public.” Class C units, which “do require or will require significant repairs within a year,” receive one-year licenses.
The rental code bans more than four unrelated people from living in a rental unit, except for rooming houses, and more than two unrelated people from living in a rental unit within a residential overlay district.
The rental code also was changed to match the city’s building code in areas such as requiring carbon monoxide detectors.