Council to hear proposal for rental rule changes - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Council to hear proposal for rental rule changes

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)—Tuesday night a council committee will discuss rules for single family home rentals.

For the last six month a special committee reviewed the rules for rentals and during that time, a moratorium has been in place prohibiting the conversion of properties to rentals, though the city has granted some exceptions. That moratorium is set to expire January 21.

After six months of examining the city's current rules the special committee has a report for the City Council to vote on. Tuesday the committee of the whole will vote to receive the report but the changes won't be immediate.

"There will be a number of ordinance changes and program changes that will have to take place in order to implement the recommendations that are contained in that report," said Mayor Tim Kabat.

But one thing Mayor Kabat says will happen sooner rather than later is a simplified registration process. Right now rentals must be registered under two systems, the committee recommends merging those in to one.

"This is a situation that's even more serious than what we thought six months ago," Mayor Kabat said. "Primarily for the fact that there are still maybe as many as 1400 properties out there being rented that still aren't registered."

Councilman James Cherf, who is a member of the special committee, says another big piece of the puzzle is enforcement of existing codes.

"We did discover there's a lot of confusion and trepidation regarding our codes and we all agreed we need to make it easier  for compliance among the property owners and neighbors, and to make the process for filing a complaint for an infraction more streamlined, more user friendly," Cherf said.

In order to make it easier for complaints to be filed, the city might consider establishing a single point of contact within the city.

Both Cherf and Kabat agree there is still a ways to go in order to amend the existing rental system but the report puts the city on the right path. The ultimate goal of course...is to create safer and more vibrant neighborhoods.

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