St. Paul City Council postpones vote on smoke-detector ordinance

The St. Paul City Council postponed voting Wednesday on an ordinance that would require hard-wired smoke detectors in student residences.

City Council member Jay Benanav, 4th Ward, the proposal’s author, said the council will vote Feb. 4.

Until then, Benanav said he will consider mandating the safety devices in all St. Paul rental units, rather than just those of student renters.

He also said he wants to clarify the definition of “student dwelling.”

A landlord group in St. Paul has argued against the proposal because of the costs of rewiring.

Bill Cullen, St. Paul Association of Responsible Landlords president, said he is wary of the change.

The group includes about 400 Twin Cities landlords.

“Some landlords don’t do their job and some students are a problem,” he said. “But the way you should solve these problems is by increased code enforcement.”

– Eric Swanson