CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Marmet's town council is considering prohibiting future construction of apartment and multi-unit dwellings in what the bill's sponsor said is an effort to clean up the town.
The proposed law would stop building permits for apartments and multi-unit buildings, thereby preventing construction. The law would also prohibit conversion of existing buildings into apartments.
The ordinance passed council on first reading in January. It will become law if passed on second reading this month.
Councilman Bill Tardy sponsored the ordinance. He said that as original owners of multi-unit dwellings have died, many of the properties have been sold to absentee landlords.
"They don't see the deterioration, they don't see the crime," he said. "There's a constant turnover in rental units."
Tardy said residents have left trash and even large appliances behind when they move, and that leaves taxpayers to clean up the mess.
The ordinance itself cites "a history of abuse from dwellers of apartments and other multiple unit dwellings in matters including, but not limited to, not paying garbage fees, failing to keep premises clean and engaging in criminal activities."
In light of those issues, Tardy said the ordinance is meant to prevent more problematic units from being created in Marmet. He said he doesn't have anything against apartment dwellers, but the issues created by some tenants have produced "headaches" for the town.