To the Editor: Eastside resident responds to landlord's letter
Written by Ray Martin   
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 08:52
In response to the letter from Brad Waltz:
He purchased a garage from a very dear friend of mine. It was detached from her home and was originally a paint shop. Later, it was used primarily for storage. The mere fact that he was able to purchase this garage was in violation of city zoning ordinances. Now, Mr. Waltz, I am sure that you have conveniently forgotten the conversation that you had with the owner and I prior to you purchasing the property, where it was clearly stated this is a garage, it is not a house. It has never been permanently occupied, If you do turn it into a residence, you will need to adhere to the zoning code for an R-2, single family dwelling residential neighborhood and you can only rent it to three unrelated people no matter how many bedrooms you put in it. You knew this going in because I know the owner told you this. The law we were discussing with you was put into law in 1973, decades before you brought the property. You purchased it for $72,500. Now you would have us believe that someone appraised this for $210,000 even though the county auditor has it appraised for $80,700.
You stated you had a 2100 square foot house, with 4 bedrooms and 3 full baths. If you go to the auditor's Web site, you will see that is 1800 square feet, it has 3 bedrooms and 1 bath. This is extremely significant, because you pay taxes on square footage and number of bedrooms. You have complained that the city was unfair in how it has dealt with you and other landlords. I would agree. I think it is grossly unfair they fined you $45,000 and then pled it down to a $500 fine.
No, Mr. Waltz, we don't need to fire the zoning inspectors to save $200,000. We need to enforce that law on you and several other landlords that have already been convicted of over occupancy. If my math is correct, the city would have collected $200,000 in fines instead of the couple of thousand dollars that they received after the plea agreements. But I'm sure you're well aware of that since your attorney was one of the men who have been fined and has been vigorously trying to overturn the occupancy rule for years.
You live on the protected west side of Bowling Green. This occupancy is law is more for you and your protection than it is for the residence on the east side of town. If the occupancy law is overturned, any house in Bowling Green whether on the golf course, in an exclusive sub-development, or the house next door to you could be filled with many unrelated people. As for those Eastside busybodies you refer too, if it weren't for people like you, there wouldn't be a need for an Eastside Neighborhood Association.
Ray Martin
Bowling Green

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