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February 21, 1969 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-02-21

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Friday, February 21, 1969

1" A TonL

'.I

;rge i an

The city's code enforcement: Talk, talk, talk, talk

In . I

By DANIEL ZWERDLING Besides, says Etter, "Letters are nation of landlords manipulate does happen occasionally - he says Chuck Blackmer, former
Daily News Analysis reasonably effective in getting and delay action on homes that gets away with nominal fines, chief engineer of the building and
Why does the city fail to take compliance" to the building codes. are unfit for human habitation," Charter's John Stegeman h a s safety engineering department.
legal action against landlords who But the records show that let- Councilman LeRoy Cappaert (D- amassed scores of building code One problem the city faces in
continually ignore its warnings? ters are not. Charter Realty and m asoyCtyCoviolations since1964an appeared t o enforce housing laws is
"Our goal is to get the coopera- Summit Associates for example, 5th Ward) has told City Council. in court for over 30 of them- lack of manpower. With only three
tion of the individual landlords have seldom - if ever - correct- "Such landlords risk the lives of but he has never had to pay more housing inspectors, the building1
rather than have the city inspec- ed a housing violation after the tenants in order to make money; than a $50 fine. Most of Stege-1and safety department is about'
tors tied up in court hearings," first warning. Andmeanwhile, they require of building inspectors, man's fines, in fact, have been for 2,000 inspections behind schedule,
says Assistant City Attorney John their tenants must continue pay- city attorneys, administrative of- only $25. Ralph Lloyd.
Etter, who handles building mat- ing full rent for substandard ficials and mrany others, hcororkwMeanwhile, Charter Realty col- Since 1965, the department has
teI wtihousing, their delaying tactics." lects thousands of dollars of rent attempted to re-inspect every
If we went to court every time,-h t I' oepoial wligi n ro nee-
we could, the inspection program "Something is seriously wrong And even if the landlord is fin- each month. "It's more profitable dwelling in Ann Arbor once ev-
would grind to a halt." when a single landlord or combi- ally summoned to court - which to break the law than to obey it,"E ery two years - but t he task
seems hopeless.
A $5,000 study of Ann Arbor en-
* forcement problems just complet-

is tthe job of the city attorneys
and the courts.
Some critics of the current hous-
ing enforcement program have
urged stiff penalties against land-
lords who fail to correct violations
after he first notice, and espec-
ially against chronic offenders -
like Charter and Summit.
Now, Judge S. J. Elden levies
fines according to a basic schedule
of $25 (plus court costs) per vio-
lation - whether the defendant
has committed the violation once
or 30 times before makes no dif-
ference.
In fact, the judge usually does
not even see a case history of the
violations. He bases his ruling on a
single warrant, which cites only
the most current violation.
IAnd Eldenhdoesn't consultthe
tattorneys, who often know about
the case in detail. "I've never been
asked by the judge what fine I
think he should levy," says As-
sistant City Attorney Etter.
Fred Steingold, also an assist-
ant attorney, concludes "We're
not very happy with the fining
procedures now."

TENANTS:
THE STRIKE IS ON I
All tenants in of f campus

4

Charter, urmii vie or vtiotation recora

(Continued from page 1) "The above conditions are ser-
Summit Associates has also had ious public health and fire haz-
its share of troubles. ards," concluded the inspectors -
Last February, city inspectors who ordered Summit to correct all
found major repairs needed on the violations within five days.
porch, steps, walls, railings, ceil- About one month later, Summit
ing, floors, plumbing and electri- started bringing the house up to
cal circuits of 727 Miller Ave. - code. No legal action was taken,I
and ordered Summit to "repair or and Summit paid no fines.
raze" the building. In another instance, inspectors
Summit had fixed nothing by first found serious code violations
July 9 -- but building officials in a Summit apartment at 331
simply noted "the owner will cor- Packard, in June 1965 - but by
rect the violations as soon as the Oct. 1968, Summit had not yet
(tenants) can move out. The Hu-
man Relations Commission's Em- : ". ,... " : "::::.., ......::...: . ...:.... :.......
ergency Housing Office has no DAILY OFFICIAL
place to put them." D I Y O F C A

corrected them. City officials the five day limit had expired.I
granted the firm 60 days to make Summit paid no fines. -
repairs. ("Remove the animal Like Charter, Summit has ac-
waste from the public halls tdcumulated still other violations -
wrote one angry inspector), a n d
warned that the city would take! any many, like violations in one
1"appropriate legal action" if Sum- house on Church, still are not up
mit failed to respond. to code despite repeated, expired
Two months later, however, "ultimatums" sent by the city

ed by a team of housing experts
may help improve the situation.
And Ann Arbor has just applied
to the federal government for a
Concentrated Code Enforcement
Program, which would subsidize
an intensified inspection program
in some low and middle income
areas of the city.
but neither of these studies will
greatly help to punish landlords
who already have violations -
but are not paying for them. This

apartments

are urged to

aj

Almost three months passed. On
Sept. 30 - no repairs had yet BULLETIN
been made. This time, however,!
the city attorneys gave Summit 30 :::.:.:....::. ":::.:...:........, ,:::":::.:.. °,.::..
days to correct all violations, or (Continued from Page 6)
face possible arrest. . troit. Unit assistants, business manag-
But once again, Summit ignored er, directors for waterfront, crafts and
the notice, and had fixed nothing riding.
by Oct. 25.
In addition, Ann Arbor public IFEBRUARY 26, 1969
Inalth aitrin, FrdbGrmabi camp Mataponi, Maine, girls. Spec-
health sanitarian Fred Germaine lalists in waterfront, tennis, land
and fire inspector Ben Zahn in- sports, arts and crafts, and outdoor
spected the house and found: camping.
- "a heavy infestation of the -_-
German cockroach;
-"a large accumulation of re-,
fuse scattered about throughout
the general premises;
- "flammable debris stored or
scattered in the basement and +
rooms"; and
- "unsanitary conditions in the
basement (i.e. standing water and
general filth)."

Summit had not responded -
which prompted the city to send
,Summit a five-day ultimatum.
The firm eventually made some of
the repairs, but not until after
Camp Onota, Mass, boys. Afternoon
only. Group heads (supv. position, 21
age req.). specialists in all sports, sci-
ence, swimming, sailing, music and
dramatics, tenis riflery and others.
FEBRUARY 27, 1969
Camp Yehudah, Mich. coed, a r ts
and craft inst., cabin counselors, re-
gistered nurse, waterfront director, as-
sistant counselors.
FEBRUARY 28, 1969
Travelers Company, Hartford, Conn.:
's interviewing juniors and seniors for
computer training pograms, liberal arts.
math, communications sei., bus. ad.
*nd engrg.Register forthese inter-
views at SPS, 212 SA.B. Advance meet-

since 1965.
But, according to city files,
Summit Associates has not paid a
single fine in over ten years.
ing for information in Room 25 Angell
Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 4 p.m.
ENGINEERING PLACEMENT SERVICE
128 H, IWest Engrg. Bldg.
Make interview appointment at
Room 128 H, West Engrg. Bldg. unless
otherwise specified.
FEBRUARY 28, 1969F
Atlantic Richfield Co. - Research
& Dev. Dept.
C awood-Schiller, Associates
Chicago Bridge & Iron Co.
Hewlett-Packard Co.
Honeywell Inc.
Lockheed-California Company
Research Analysis Corp.
TRW Systems Group
Wyman-Gordon Co.
UGg. Air Force-OTS
U.S. Geological Survey

UNION-LEAGUE
ALL-CAMPUS
Music by OHIO POWER
from Lima, Ohio
TODAY!
9-12
LEAGUE BALLROOM

deposit their rent in the T. U.
escrow fund.
REMEMBER-
TO BE PROTECTED BY THE T. U.
LEGAL STAFF YOU MUST HAVE
DEPOSITED YOUR RENT.
If yOu have not been contacted, call
your organizer or the T. U. office.
Phone 763-3102
1532 S.A.B.

*1

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day when no one hurries anywhere. Ladybug

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of the season Spring b
pcnics . in the woods.
gentle touches of .sun

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brings the things for Spring.
For a brigh breezy Spring full of bikes
rn uand ,wrboatsOr atender,
rring full of warm soft stars ^ n

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rings wildflowers' Tand

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of Springs to all kinds of early
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