Columbia housing ordinance put in place to address overcrowding

Feb 20, 2013

As of February, landlords in Columbia are required to maintain a list of all tenants. It’s part of a new occupancy limitation disclosure ordinance recently passed by the City Council.

That the ordinance was put in place partially to deal with several overcrowding issues concerning neighbors.

After multiple complaints were filed with Columbia’s Office of Neighborhood Services for an excess of traffic, trash accumulation and lack of parking, the City Council adopted an occupation limit disclosure ordinance. The ordinance aims to curtail the residential overcrowding in Columbia neighborhoods. Neighborhood Services manager, Leigh Britt, says the ordinance requires landlords to disclose the zoning district and occupancy limits to tenants in the lease agreement or in a separate form for each tenant.

“We realize that it’s one more thing that everybody has to do," she says. "We’re asking property owners to take care of and real estate agents but, in the end, the real goal is to raise awareness so that everybody understands what the occupancy rules and limitations are for the place where they’re living.”

City Council member Gary Krespohl, who supports the ordinance, says overcrowding can correlate to other city issues, such as congested rush hour traffic. That’s because of the high percentage of students who live off campus.

“And what’s happening is some of the rental houses are being rented to students and there may be a four or five bedroom home and they are putting four or five or six students living there and all of em drive a car," he tells KBIA. "So that one house has five or six cars there when there’s only room for like two or three. So it not only runs down the property by over occupying but it’s a parking issue for the neighborhood.”

City council members says they are discussing solutions to the student transit issue and are looking into incorporating more extensive student transit systems which also may help alleviate some of the overcrowding concerns.

This story originally aired as part of Business Beat, a weekly program about business and economics in mid-Missouri.