Maumee City Council Passes Rental Property Registration Ordinance

Approximately 80 area residents attended the March 20 meeting of Maumee City Council. Fourteen audience members took advantage of the opportunity to speak before city council. When all the discussion was over, council passed Ordinance 002-2023, enacting new non-owner-occupied residential property requirements in the city of Maumee which will take effect in 2024. MIRROR PHOTO BY MIKE McCARTHY

BY MIKE McCARTHY | MIRROR EDITOR — All landlords owning non-owner-occupied residential property within Maumee city limits will soon be required to register those properties with the city and make them available for safety inspections every three years. This new law is a result of the passage of Ordinance 002-2023 by Maumee City Council at its March 20 meeting. The measure passed by a 6-1 vote.

An assembly of approximately 80 residents, most of them landlords or real estate agents, attended the city council meeting in a last-ditch effort to persuade council members to vote against the legislation. Fourteen people spoke against passage of the ordinance, which was presented in its third and final public reading prior to a vote by members of city council.

Citizen Comments

Colleen LaChapelle, of 719 W. Wayne St., was one of the audience members who took advantage of the opportunity to speak before council.

She scolded the council members, saying, “You were elected and obviously you ran for your position because you wanted a voice, and it appears that we have no voice. Most of this group opposes the ordinance that’s going forward, and you were elected to be our representatives, and you’ve really taken a detour and have gone in the wrong direction and have not listened to what the residents want.”

“Council is supposed to be the check and balance for the administration. That isn’t happening when you have 6-1 or 7-0 votes on almost everything that’s being pushed through,” LaChapelle said.

Dave Poeppelmeier, of 318 Kingsbury St., spoke next.

“As a citizen of Maumee, I’m disappointed that there’s no public discussion amongst its members in this chamber, nor in public meetings, that could have been held with concerned citizens of both sides,” Poeppelmeier said. “It’s an incredibly important issue. This is a huge piece of legislation that will affect Maumee for decades, and it seems like everything was decided ahead of time behind closed doors. 

“I’m disappointed in the evident attitude in this administration that we can do whatever the heck we want and you, as a city, are going to like it. This includes roads, sewers, the water debacle and now this rental ordinance.

“Therefore, I’m going to do something that I never in a million years thought I would do, and that is declaring that I am running for Maumee City Council to stand up for the citizens of Maumee against future unwanted and unneeded government action that will affect their lives,” Poeppel-meier proclaimed.

His surprise announcement prompted raucous applause from his allies in the audience.

Brad Reynolds, of 2308 State Blvd., spoke next.

“This is not an ordinance for blight. This, by now, is a new tax,” Reynolds contended.

He said that he has read the proposed ordinance several times and has concerns about the fees and fines portion of the legislation. “The fees are supposed to go to the city, but I have not seen where the fines are going to go. Maumee is losing St. Luke’s Hospital and I suspect this is probably just one way of making up the revenue for it.

“Mayor, you invited me to come to (the committee meetings) and I really appreciate that you opened the door to us fellow real estate agents and people who are involved in the rental market here in Maumee, but I don’t really feel that you were interested in hearing what we have to say,” Reynolds asserted.

Aubrey Hornsby, of 602 W. Harrison St., spoke next and leveled his criticism at members of council.

“We stand up here and give you a bunch of reasons why this shouldn’t be passed, why it shouldn’t happen, why there should be more explanations, and we are basically ignored. That’s how we feel about this entire thing,” Hornsby stated.

“There’s been so many things done in Maumee that have been done without our communication, without our voice, without our vote – the people. You guys represent us. That’s what you need to understand.

“It’s very frustrating to come and talk to you guys and sit here and talk week after week, hear reasons why this ordinance should pass, and we proved that it is wrong. We proved it. We told you that it didn’t make any sense,” Hornsby stated.

Hornsby then announced that he, too, would be running for Maumee City Council in the fall. The statement was met with a large round of applause from the crowd.

Kayla Bisalski, of Sylvania, also addressed the members of city council. 

“I am unable to understand the intent behind the proposed ordinance because in no way is this benefiting our city,” she stated. “Actually, it would be quite burdensome and harmful to responsible property owners and renters alike It’s easily comparable to being punished for something that you didn’t do.”

“With four – yes, four – council members being directly tied to real estate, I am truly ashamed and saddened how they could be in favor of such an unlawful ordinance,” Bisalski concluded.

With all 14 residents having had their say, city council moved on with its agenda.

Under the petition and communications portion of the agenda, council accepted and placed on file a report from the Parks and Recreation Committee.

The report included a new policy concerning the Maumee community pool. Last year, school district families that lived outside of Maumee city limits were only eligible for daily passes. The rule has been amended this year to allow families to purchase season passes. Further rule changes regarding the pool will be discussed at a later date after a new pool manager has been hired.

There was also discussion in the committee about Library Park improvements, including adding pickleball, a new inclusive playground and new public restrooms in the existing building.

The committee members were also able to view plans for the upcoming parking lot improvements at Ford Park.

Consent Calendar

In the consent calendar segment of the meeting, council:

• Authorized a request by the Maumee Uptown Business Association to host its annual Summer Fair in uptown Maumee on Friday, August 11 and Saturday, August 12.

• Authorized the annual property and liability insurance coverage with the Ohio Plan through Hylant Insurance Agency.

• Authorized a contract with Advanced Rehabili-tation Technology in an amount not to exceed $226,861.09 for the 2022 Sanitary Manhole Rehabili-tation Project. The firm will reline various manholes and pump station wet wells within the city sewer system.

• Confirmed the appointment of city administrator Patrick Burtch as the city of Maumee representative to the Arrowhead Architec-tural Board. Andy Glenn is designated as the alternate.

Other Business

Moving on to other business, it was time for council members to vote on the proposed non-owner-occupied residential property ordinance. 

Council member Josh Harris made a motion to waive the three-reading provision concerning any changes or modifications made to Ordinance 002-2023. The motion was seconded by council member Jon Fiscus and passed by a 6-1 vote, with council members Harris, Jim MacDonald, Margo Puffenberger, Fiscus, Gabe Barrow and Scott Noonan voting yes and council member Philip Leinbach voting no.

Harris then made a motion to approve Ordinance 002-2023. Fiscus again seconded the motion and council members voted in an identical manner as the previous motion, with the ordinance being approved by a 6-1 margin.

Editor’s Note: Prior to casting their vote, council members had the opportunity to discuss their views on the ordinance. Their remarks can be found in the accompanying sidebar.

The next meeting of Maumee City Council is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. on Monday, April 3 in council chambers at the Maumee Municipal Building, 400 Conant St. 

As always, Maumee City Council meetings are open to the public.

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