BY PRESIDENT REINERT:
The city council finds:
(a) Campuses of higher education, students and campus neighborhoods are all important components of the Duluth community; and
(b) The near-campus neighborhoods have seen a significant influx of single family homes converted to student rentals over the past several years; and
(c) The community and city council have recognized that re-establishing a healthy rental–homestead balance in these neighborhoods is of vital importance; and
(d) The council finds value in outlining its general intentions on broad public policy issues, desires to do so on this issue, and recognizes that this outline may change but will still indicate general intentions.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that:
(a) The council supports rescinding the 300 foot rule citywide and applying it to an area broadly defined as the greater campus neighborhood. In addition, the council supports a moratorium on new rental licenses for the maximum period allowed by state law for this designated area;
(b) The council requests the administration begin work on the city’s new zoning code as soon as possible. The council also requests the zoning process include such zoning tools as a university district and campus neighborhood overlay districts;
(b) (c) The council requests the administration use the city’s public safety departments to aggressively enforce current nuisance and quality of life ordinances. The council also indicates its willingness to work with public safety staff to revise and add to these ordinances to provide for more effective enforcement;
(c) (d) The council endorses the student/young professional housing district report issued in 2004 and strongly encourages the administration to move this concept forward via the new zoning process as well as active recruitment of potential district developers;
(d) (e) The council encourages homeowners who obtained rental licenses to protect their property interests, but have no intention of renting their homes, to return these licenses to the city. If done so within 90 days of the enactment of this resolution, the licenses will be cancelled and the council intends to do what is necessary so that the full license fee will be refunded to the homeowner;
(f) The council endorses the rental buyback program initiated by the housing and redevelopment authority;
(e) (g) The council requests that the administration more aggressively enforce and inspect relative homesteads being used as rental properties in the greater campuses neighborhoods. The council also requests the state of Minnesota legislature work to more narrowly define this exemption to help mitigate the unintended consequences in Minnesota’s campus communities.
COUNCIL REQ/ATTY BFB:nmj 3/6/2008
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: This resolution declares how the council will address the current change in land use from single family to rental housing.