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Council Hears Presentation On Managing Private Rental Properties

Managing Editor

KURE BEACH - The issue of managing the impacts of privately owned rental properties in Kure Beach was brought before the Town Council at their April 15th, meeting by Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Craig Galbraith.
Galbraith explained the item was brought up in discussions regarding parking at rental homes. He explained, "We had a general discussion about what sort of things could be done to assist to try and manage the problem where you have a house that might be rented on a weekly basis. You end up with eight or ten cars parked out front. That migrated into a discussion of safety  issues. There's been some accidents recently."
Galbraith said he owns rental properties in several cities in different states including Indiana and in Kure Beach. He explained in an area of Indiana the City has a rental home certificate. He said, "This is a certificate where the building inspector goes in, they actually inspect for rental properties. They inspect it to make sure it satisfies safety requirements. You have to pay a fee for it. It's a $500 fee actually in West Lafayette, Indiana. It's pretty stiff. I've written a few checks."
He explained, "After you are approved you get a certificate that will allow you to rent that property within the limitations. It could also have unrelated family components to that" and, "After the $500 initial then it is reviewed" by the building inspector every year afterwards for $100 per inspection.
Galbraith explained, "It really is good. They go through. They look at all the safety things. Fire extinguishers. They make sure smoke alarms work and all the things you hope a rental property would have. We are not recommending that but I just wanted to point out there is concern about parking issues as well as safety issues related to weekly rentals."
Galbraith said a certificate program would dictate the number of people that could occupy the rental
property and prohibit people from packing 10 people into a small house with too many vehicles parked out front.
Councilman David Heglar asked how such a program is enforced.
Galbraith said, "It's enforced by a complaint. If a neighbor complains there is 12 people" then police could come out and check the compliance with a certificate and write a ticket.
Mayor Dean Lambeth said, "There was a house... on Fort Fisher Blvd. They had 80 people in the house at one time. They had 27
cars parked across the street in a private lot. I think you can start with that and see what you come up with."
Galbraith said, "Clearly this process would try to eliminate that potential not only for a parking problem but for a safety problem."
Lambeth said, "At one time they had 80 kids
staying in it. Some of the kids were sleeping on the beach. The kids were well rehearsed with what they had to do to make sure they made a mends. Property owners on both sides had problems sleeping."
The Planning and Zoning Commission will continue discussions on the topic at future meetings.