St. Paul delays vote on city ordinances

The St. Paul City Council delayed voting Wednesday until Nov. 3 on several city ordinances that affect student renters.

The ordinances, proposed by Council member Jay Benanav, who represents the area surrounding the St. Paul campus, state that student dwellings must obtain a certificate of occupancy through the city’s fire marshal and must have hard-wired smoke detectors installed in all St. Paul rental houses.

Benanav said he decided to delay the final adoption of the ordinances to test the effectiveness of the city’s rental registration ordinance, adopted in December, for all single-family and duplex rental houses in the city.

“Before we pass a new ordinance aimed exclusively at students, I’m asking neighbors and students to work together,” Benanav said.

He said he will watch the housing issue very closely, and if student housing remains a problem, he will move forward with the ordinances this fall.

Residents in St. Paul are encouraged to give input on the subject at www.ci.stpaul.mn.us by clicking on the “Residents” link.

– Eric Swanson