City Council plans to amend over occupancy limit

On Monday, Jan. 3, Columbia City Council members plan to discuss proposed amendments to the zoning ordinance related to over-occupancy in rental units.

An issue of overcrowding in rental homes has lead council members to re-assess the Rental Conservation Law. Leigh Britt, Manager of Neighborhood Services, wrote in a memo to City Council that “No more than three unrelated occupants are allowed in R-1 zoning and no more than four in other zoning districts. Tenants in excess of the City’s zoning ordinance create additional traffic, trash and noise in residential areas that are primarily single-family.”

R-1 zones are neighborhoods with one-family-intended dwellings.

Proposed ordinance changes include:

–       Revocation of property owner’s rental Certificate of Compliance for three years when there is a conviction of an over-occupancy charge.

–       If owner receives revocation of Certificate of Compliance, he or she may apply for a one-year provisional Certificate of Compliance entailing quarterly inspections to verify the unit is in compliance with code and occupancy.

–       Removal of ability to transfer a Certificate of Compliance when ownership of rental unit changes. The old Certificate of Compliance will expire with a new owner, and he or she must apply for a new one, thus increasing the inspections on rental properties.

City Council members, with the removal of the transfer option, expect a fiscal impact of an increase in rental fee income when rental property changes ownership.

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One Response

  1. This issue was tabled until the Jan. 18 city council meeting.

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