Second passage of rental cap exemptions stalls, then passes


City Council discusses Rental Cap exemptions at the June 26 City Council meeting. At-Large representative Amber Corrieri is not present but can speak and vote over the speaker system. 

Devyn Leeson

The second passage of the rental cap exemptions ordinance was approved by City Council after a snag in Tuesday’s meeting.

The cap exemptions, which are being pushed to help alleviate financial stress on property owners from a rental cap passed earlier in the year, were supposed to have their second passage at last weeks City Council meeting. Large changes made within the meeting, however, led the council to push back the second passage.

There were two primary changes made to the ordinance, which the public commented on.

The first made it so a Letter of Compliance (LoC), the document needed to rent out a property, would not be able to be sold as a part of the property. This means selling a property would cause the LoC to be invalidated.

Joanne Pfeiffer supported the amendment, saying rental properties increase the number of violent attacks in neighborhoods.

“There seems to be a connection between unstable neighborhoods and assaults,” Pfeiffer said.

Pfeiffer then made this same connection to neighborhoods with bars located in them.

“That is another thing that was shown in the research, people that have unstable occupancy have bars close by and neighborhoods that have assaults,” Pfeiffer said.

At-Large representative Amber Corrieri interjected and asked what research Pfeiffer was referring to.

“I just looked it up on the internet,” Pfeiffer said. “It is the research that I read, and I did not copy down all of the details which I am totally admitting to.”

Pfeiffer continued to connect the “unstable neighborhoods” to the two recent attacks that have happened in Campustown, resulting in one sexual assault and one victim escaping.

After comments from the public, the amendment passed 4-2, with Ward Four representative Chris Nelson Corrieri voting against the amendment.

The second amendment adjusted the dates someone had to take out a building permit in order to qualify for an LoC.

The amendment passed 4-2, with Nelson and Corrieri voting against the amendment.

The second passage originally failed 3-3 with Corrieri joining Betcher and Ward Three representative David Martin, explaining she thought it was “crazy”  the council wouldn’t allow for the transfer of an LoC in the case of death.

Through the rules, however, the Council was able to make a motion to reconsider the second passage. Corrieri agreed to this after At-Large representative Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen proposed allowing LoCs to transfer in cases of death but not sale.

This amendment passed 5-1 with Ward One representative Gloria Betcher voting no. The second attempt of the second passage of the ordinance passed 4-2, with Martin and Betcher voting against it.

The rental cap ordinance passed in May limits the number of rental properties in neighborhoods adjacent to campus to 25 percent.