Debate continues on phone, license plate numbers

Category:  News
Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 at 9:27 PM

EDINBORO — At a meeting Monday night, the Home Rule Borough of Edinboro Council announced that due to many landlords feeling they could be in “legal jeopardy” if they were to provide tenant’s license plates and phone numbers to the borough, the council is giving them more time to adjust. This resulted from new rental license requirements, which asked landlords to gather this information for submission to the borough and zoning office, and which was discussed at the September meeting.

“Effective Oct. 9, 2015, [the] Borough Code Department will begin to issue provisional rental license renewals to those applicants who have otherwise met the requirements for a rental license for the 2015-16 cycle,” stated Borough Manager T.J. Jemetz in his comments at the beginning of the meeting.

In order to deal with the concerns of the remaining landlords who have yet to comply, the council said the landlords will have enough time to adjust their lease agreements to require their tenants to give their license plates and phone numbers.

The borough will look to alleviate any concerns by providing the landlords with a letter of assurance that the license plate data and the phone numbers will not be released…unless otherwise ordered to do so by a competent authority,” Jemetz said.

There will also be a written explanation as to why the data is being collected and utilization of a “frequently asked questions” section on the Borough of Edinboro website.

Jemetz addressed the landlords, saying the council is not in charge of this ordinance, but Billie Fitzsimmons, borough code enforcement officer, is the one who proposed it.

“She’s still relatively new and she’s pretty serious about compliance and she thought this would be a tool that would help her,” Jemetz said. “We’ve been reevaluating per your comments and we’re adjusting.”

In other rental issues, landlord Leah Therasse brought up how she is “losing student rentals and new professionals will no longer buy houses in town.”

“You’re going to have to change your income tax base, or the income tax law,” said Therasse during the public participation section of the meeting. “That’s what you’re going to have to do because you’re not going to get the new professionals to move in.”

The council also approved old business, as well as a Halloween trick or treating time from 6-8 p.m.

The next meeting will be held Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m.

Mike McLaughlin is a Staff Writer for The Spectator.

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