Task force a potential bright spot for Annie Glidden North revitalization

It’s no secret that my main concern for the Annie Glidden North revitalization effort is the possibility that City of DeKalb and NIU are preparing to push a secret agenda to the detriment of public input and outcomes. As I exhaustively outlined for you earlier, email discussions of private planning, from the “DeKalb 2020 Prospectus”…

New Council Gets a Good Start

City of DeKalb employees and the group Ellwood Historic Neighborhood have hatched a new plan just in time to take up a line item in the FY2014 budget: Buy up multi-family homes in the north 5th Ward, convert them to single-family and resell each property at a loss. In fact: “We have worked with a…

Rockford Working Its Way to Landlord Registration Program

It’s registration without tons of new staff or inspection ordinances of dubious constitutionality. Right now, the only thing between the city and a new landlord registry is the right software, said Paul Arena, president of the Rockford Apartment Association. The property managers want the database to link to the city’s police and code enforcement reporting…

First Reading of Housing Ordinance Changes Comes Tomorrow

The agenda for tomorrow’s city council meetings is here. Now, it finally becomes apparent* that the $6 million they’ve got stockpiled in the TIF 2 fund is mostly going to go into the Municipal Building. Of course, the use of TIF money for this purpose will bring in all kinds of new private development and…

Two Poodles Bring Zombie Housing Ordinance to Council

DeKalb’s Committee of the Whole agenda for Monday includes a zombie ordinance. Enclosed is an old draft of an ordinance prepared by Klein Thorpe, and Jenkins in which property maintenance items were at one time included in a former draft of the Chronic Nuisance ordinance. The Housing Task Force rejected the ordinance, and Council already…

Special Meeting Tonight on Proposed Rental Inspection Staffing

DeKalb city staff want to hire five people and buy four vehicles in their quest to a) ignore recommendations of the Safe/Quality Housing Task Force and b) implement the rental housing licensing and inspection program they’ve wanted all along. According to the agenda backup, start-up costs would come to $135,000 and the annual outlay would…

Licensing & Inspection Program Could Help Turn a TIF Blueprint into Reality

The Daily Chronicle lays out today the arguments for and against licensing and inspection of rental properties. There are four proposed laws before the council, but it’s the issue of licensing that has garnered the most attention and debate from aldermen, city officials, and landlords. City Manager Mark Biernacki has previously described it as being…