04-0079R

RESOLUTION REVERSING THE DECISION OF THE BUILDING APPEAL BOARD TO DENY THE APPEAL OF AN ORDER OF CONDEMNATION FOR HABITATION FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 321-23 WEST FIRST STREET (PAUL AND MARNE GUTHRIE).

BY COUNCILOR LITTLE:

WHEREAS, on August 26, 2003, the Duluth building official condemned for habitation the property located at 321-23 West First Street, the basis of such order being the owners' failure to comply with final correction orders; and

WHEREAS, the owners of said property appealed to the building appeal board pursuant to Section 10-5(c)(2) of the Duluth City Code and sought two items of relief:
(a) Additional time to comply with the correction orders;
(b) A stay of the order which would avoid the vacation of the occupants; and

WHEREAS, the building appeal board heard the appeal at their October 8, 2003, meeting and denied the appeal upon the following grounds and reasons:
(a) The owners did not appeal the correction orders which are now final. Instead, the appellants sought additional time to make the ordered corrections. An appeal seeking such relief is moot because the condemnation order does not establish a deadline for correction or prevent the owners from completing corrections even after such an order becomes final; and
(b) The owners sought additional time to vacate current tenants of the apartments located within the building. These apartments are not currently licensed for rental occupancy as required by Section 29A-28 of the Duluth City Code. The current rental occupancy exists in violation of City Code. The building appeal board lacks authority to authorize illegal activity. Therefore, the board lacks jurisdiction to grant the requested relief; and

WHEREAS, the owners filed a timely appeal to the city council and such appeal was heard during its meeting of the public safety committee held on January 29, 2004; and

WHEREAS, the city council disagrees with the decision of the building appeal board for the following reasons:

[reasons for reversal to be identified by the city council]

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the city of Duluth that the building appeal board's decision of October 8, 2003, is hereby reversed by the city council, and the appellants are granted the following relief:

[specific items of relief to be determined by the city council]


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This resolution reverses the October 8, 2003, decision of the building appeal board which denied an appeal of a condemnation for habitation order. The appellants sought an extension of time to vacate the structure as required by the order and additional time to make ordered corrections. The building appeal board denied the appeal because the condemnation order did not prevent the owners from completing the ordered corrections or establish a deadline for completion of the corrections. The board also denied the appellants' request to dely eviction of the tenants because the rental occupancies exist in violation of city code. Because city code does not grant to the board the authority to authorize illegal activity, the board concluded that it lacked jurisdiction to grant the requested relief.