As the number of village rental unit properties increases at an alarming rate, Fayetteville officials are struggling with a course of action.
Mayor Mark Olson and village trustees discussed Aug. 16 the viability of creating a rental registration and inspection program to ensure the safety of residents, tenants and first responders. In addition to the complexes such as Fayetteville Pines on Warren Street and Marillac Apartments of Orchard Street, there are more than 70 rental units, many multi-rentals, on East Genesee Street.
There are recent reports of unruly behavior, drug activity and loitering near the apartment complexes. Also, village officials are concerned about non-tenants residing in rental complexes.
Trustee Chris Randall, who is spearheading the community committee to assist in drafting the law and an inspection checklist, said the focus should be on preserving a high quality of life for village residents. Many of the committee members were at the meeting.
"We don't want to see elements of crime anchored in the back neighborhoods," Randall said. "The public safety of residents and neighbors is most important.
"People like the Fayetteville lifestyle," he added.
The mayor pointed to an annual rental registration and inspection program that the village of East Syracuse has utilized with positive results since 2007.
In East Syracuse, each rental unit is subject to a $15 annual registration; a $30 inspection fee per unit; and a $500 cap for total registration and inspection fees on multi-dwelling units.
There is also a local Disruptive Conduct Law that complements the registration program.
"However this is written, it has to be something we can enforce," Olson said.
Yet, Bruce Coleman, who, along with his wife, trustee Mary Coleman, owns the Beard Morgan House Bed and Breakfast on East Genesee Street, said the board should not see the rental law as a fix-all solution.