Tuesday, February 4, 2020

What's on the Council Agenda for Feb. 4, 2020: More attacks on Short-term-rentals, banning contracting for detention services, restricting landloards ability to raise rent, ..

by Rod Williams - The Metro Council will meet Tuesday, February 4th at 6:30 PM in the Council chamber at the Metro Courthouse. Here is a link to the Council agenda and the Council staff analysisLife has interfered with blogging this week and I am late posting about the Council agenda and writing a blog post. This is an abbreviated version of my usual report.  For some of the below, I am copying and pasting directly from the staff analysis. Below are the legislative items of interest. 

Bills on Public Hearing:

BILL NO. BL2019-78 (SLEDGE) – This ordinance requires a minimum distance for a new Short Term Rental Property - Not Owner-Occupied from churches, schools, daycares, and parks. No new STRP permit could be located less than 100 feet from a religious institution, a school or its playground, a park, or a licensed day care center or its playground, unless, after a public hearing, a resolution receiving 21 affirmative votes is adopted by the Council.  In my view this is uncalled for. I oppose this bill. It is on public hearing which is also second reading.
BILL NO. BL2019-111 (PARKER, TOOMBS, & SLEDGE) – This ordinance creates new “NS” (No STRP) districts for all zoning districts, except single and two family residential (R and RS), downtown code (DTC), and industrial districts (IWD, IR, and IG). These new NS zoning districts would be identical to all existing standards and all existing uses, except that owner occupied and not owner occupied uses would be prohibited in NS districts. The exhibit attached to the ordinance inserts references to NS districts as necessary throughout Title 17. Other minor changes, such as typographical mistakes and outdated references, would be made. This includes changing some references from the former CC district to the current DTC district.  This is another unnecessary attack on short term rentals.  It is on public hearing. 
Resolutions:  All of the resolutions are routine mundane stuff.

Second Reading:
BILL NO. BL2020-115 (GLOVER) require a security plan prior to obtaining a building permit for a parking structure constructed near a stadium, arena, or racetrack. Under this ordinance, no parking structure, as defined by the zoning administrator, could be constructed within 100 feet of a stadium, arena, or racetrack that accommodates or will accommodate 1,000 people or more unless a security plan prepared by a professional sports/entertainment facility security consultant is approved by the fire marshal and the department of codes administration. The security plan must, at a minimum, include mitigation mechanisms to protect spectators from attacks associated with explosives contained inside motor vehicles located on or within the parking structure.  It is my understanding that this would be another obstacle in the way of the proposed MLS Fairground stadium.  Also for security purposes, it does sound reasonable.  I support this bill.
BILL NO. BL2020-148 (BENEDICT, WELSCH, & OTHERS) – This ordinance would amend Section 4.12.240 of the Metro Code pertaining to future contracts with private operators of detention facilities. Ordinance No. BL2017-542 established Section 4.12.240 to require future contracts for correctional facility management services to be approved by the Metro Council, and to require reports to be submitted by the contractor to the Council regarding contractor performance for future contracts. This ordinance would delete those requirements from the 2017 ordinance and substitute with new provisions that would prohibit Metro from entering into a new contract, or renewing an existing contract, with a private contractor to manage a Metro detention facility after June 30, 2022. The ordinance would also prohibit Metro from entering into or renewing a contract with the state for the detention of incarcerated persons if the contract permits a private contractor to manage the facility.  "Profit" has become a dirty word for some people in recent years.  For profit prisons and schools have especially come under attack by progressives.  I thing government contracting for services is often, not always-but often,  more cost-effective than government providing services directly, whether garbage collection, janitorial services, road construction or owning and managing prisons.  I oppose this bill.  Contracting for detention services should not be banned as an option.
BILL NO. BL2020-149 would require landlords to provide at least 90 days’ written notice to tenants before increasing the tenant’s rent. This is likely to reduce the availability of affordable housing and raise rent prices.  This type interference in the market hardly ever achieves  the desired result.  There is already the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (URLTA) which requires a 30-day notice.  Nashville should not have a more restrictive rule than other places in Tennessee.  This needs to be defeated.  If it does pass, I hope the State invalidates it. 
This is a draft of a work in progress. Please check back. 
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