15 years ago when the messy yard laws were pass they were selectively enforced on a few people. now it looks like the messy yard laws will be selectivelly enforced on a much large number of people


Neighborhood task force has plan for Tempe renters

Katie Nelson The Arizona Republic Jan. 25, 2006 12:00 AM

TEMPE - If you park your car helter-skelter, party late into the night or don't trim your lawn in Tempe, watch out.

A task force of Tempe residents charged with finding ways to address neighborhood blight caused by renters and their landlords may have found a way to stop you.

The city's rental housing task force, spearheaded by Mayor Hugh Hallman, met for the last time Tuesday.

For months, task force members have been hashing out how some single-family home renters annoy, frustrate and burden their neighbors.

Now, the group has developed a list of ways to address the problems caused by renters and negligent landlords. They will present it to the City Council in late March.

It was repeatedly noted that it's not just renters who strain neighborhood relations in Tempe.

But in a city where nearly half the dwelling units are rentals - during the 2000 census it was 49 percent - rental housing and the issues it brings have become a sore subject.

"Council needs to know there is not a more important issue in our community than neighborhood enforcement and enhancement to preserve our neighborhoods," Hallman told the group Tuesday.

The committee includes Hallman, Councilmen Mark Mitchell and Ben Arredondo, and 15 appointed community members, including landlords, community activists and two college students.

The group also got help and feedback from about a half-dozen city staff members who specialize in neighborhood, taxes or enforcement issues.

The task force ideas include:

Making it mandatory for all landlords to register all their units with the city so officials know whom to contact when there is a problem. They also want to tax each unit, no exceptions.

Pushing for increased city code enforcement by having more people covering more hours. They plan on asking the council to hire a cadre of new full- and part-timers to make it happen.

Educating students and out-of-city landlords who might not be aware of Tempe's rules. The task force is going to ask the council to distribute information through Arizona State University, the city's Web site and city publications.

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