Landlords resist plan to make them advise tenants about trash pickups

December 15, 1992|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

A proposal to require landlords to tell tenants about trash pickup and recycling -- and fine the landlords if they don't -- brought opposition last night from one landlord on the Westminster City Council and questions from another.

The council also turned down a county agency's request for money and a condominium owners association's request for a tax abatement.

Council President William F. Haifley, who owns two apartment buildings in the city, spoke out against Mayor W. Benjamin Brown's proposal for solid-waste regulations that would place on the landlord the burden of notifying tenants.

Under the mayor's proposal, landlords who failed to give tenants a copy of city refuse and recycling regulations at the time of signing the lease -- or failed to post the regulations in a prominent place in the kitchen -- could face fines up to $100.

"Who in this room thinks there are going to be conspicuous notices posted in the kitchen for the life of the lease?" Mr. Haifley asked.

Councilman Stephen R. Chapin Sr., who owns one rental property in Westminster, said he thought the intent was good but was worried about the fines and policing.

"I keep wondering who are going to be the people who will do all these things," Mr. Chapin said.

Councilwoman Rebecca A. Orenstein supported the proposal. She said the Pennsylvania Avenue neighborhood where she and Mayor Brown live has a number of absentee landlords who fail to tell tenants what days refuse is collected and what times they are allowed to place it on the curb -- between 6 p.m. the day before collection and 6 a.m. the day of collection.

"I've seen people putting trash in my neighbor's front yard. They just don't know where to put the trash," Ms. Orenstein said.

The council voted to introduce the measure, with action tentatively set for the Jan. 11 meeting. The council canceled its Dec. 28 meeting.

The council rejected a request for an unspecified contribution toward a traffic study of Route 97 near the air business center. The request came from the county Industrial Development Authority, which agreed to contribute $25,000 toward the study after the county commissioners denied financing.

Council members suggested that the concept of shared-industrial-development costs should be discussed as part of overall county agreements with all eight incorporated towns.

The city lacks legal authority to grant the Parrs Ridge condominium owners association's request for a tax abatement, City Attorney John B. Walsh Jr. advised the council.

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