BELLVILLE — Concerns of a group of residents who also act as landlords were calmed last week by members of a village committee studying issues in community development.
The committee, meeting in village hall chambers, was joined by about 20 residents. Many of these people had appeared at a public hearing last week on proposed ordinance changes, which would have required landlords to take new steps to monitor their rental holdings.
Committee chairman Jason Potes said at the beginning of the committee meeting that he did not feel “swayed in any direction” about the proposals.
He and other committee members agreed at the end of the committee meeting they will take this issue back to village council at its next meeting July 10 and recommend that the proposed legislation be tabled.
Potes said it is possible the issue could be looked at a later date. But for the present, the proposed changes can be allowed to die.
The committee meeting was held in village hall. And again, the evident interest outweighed the ability for physical accoutrements to handle the crowd.
Several people attending had to co-opt use of plush chairs which normally sit around the conference table.
Robin Goldman, who had attended the public hearing, said she wants to know what the village has done to address problems like run down buildings. She said one sits opposite a new elementary school building, under construction, in Bellville.
She said no one has lived in it for five years, and that one night squatters were there.
Committee member Jason Guilliams said he thinks the feed back from residents is clear.
He said committee members only saw that proposed legislation by email the day before the public hearing.
He said it is “bad” that people got “ruffled up.”
He said it is “good” that people can get together and “go through this.”
Stephen Edwards, who is a council member but was not on the committee, said he had looked through council minutes and saw “no discussion” about this proposed ordinance before the public hearing was held.
He said it was for him “touchy” because he has rental properties.
He said it takes all six persons on council to go forward with any proposed legislation.
Roberta Klaus said she has been here since she was four years old, and she is “amazed” at the decline in quality of home ownership.
She said she had previous dealings with council, and didn’t think her comments were heard.
She was advised she could file complaints about people, but she said she didn’t think she should have to do that.
Potes said that is standard procedure for someone wishing to voice concerns.
Klaus said “it irritates me” that the village is seeming to “go after the landlords.”
Part of the discussion at the meeting veered to problems with trees. There is a Shade Tree Commission, which has been working with people to plant more trees.
Lonnie McGhee, a Perry township trustee, said Bellville has a “poor policy on trees.”
One woman said if asked by the Shade Tree Commission to plant a tree, “I won’t let them plant one stinking tree.”
Reach Swartzwalder at aimmediamidwest.com