For what it’s worth, Semi, my tongue was very close to my cheek when I suggested university involvement. Dealing with them is pointless —we all know it, and I know that all the tenants at Sagewood are not students. Secondly, I also know the futility of getting people with jurisdiction to do anything and what it cost officeholders last year. The fact that certain of them are still backing this proposal underscores this. I sympathize with the prisoners comment — wholly inappropriate. Perhaps the wrong office holder got ousted…
I also know the folly of our Economic Development Council. I’m not sure that would actually do anything either, but Citizen pointed to our local economy and the help it needs. It might help — probably not. I chose my neighborhood because it fits my lifestyle quite well and wasn’t a student ghetto, yet I still deal with them as neighbors and most are quite responsible. Unfortunately not all are.
Understand, Semi, I’m not against you for a moment — far from it. I felt that the downtrodden student ploy was inexcusable, and like you I’m tired of the problem. I was extremely tired of dealing with irresponsible landlords as a renter both here and in Austin, I’m tired of dealing with the problems cause by them now, and I’m tired of dealing with irresponsible renters, both then and now. I’m especially tired of the student renters you mentioned who feel that you were wrong for buying a house in “party central.” Arrogant!
We’ve had numerous draconian solutions proposed by city hall and they do nothing except incense us all. Believe me, I’d love to find a solution, but as Eljefe points out “Proponents that I've heard keep saying it's to help protect the health and safety of renters, and then turn around and say it's an attempt at addressing the Sagewood issue. Which is it?” Thank you, ElJefe, and thanks for pointing out the duplication of effort.
Perhaps imminent domain might provide a solution to the Sagewood issue, albeit very costly. If the purpose truly is to help protect the health and safety of renters, some type of tenant’s board with the power to go after problem realtors’ licenses might do the trick. He also points out that there may be a three property minimum for licensing, and I’d love to hear more about that, because not only might it make my previous suggestion— going after licenses — work, it may also get my support.
Post Scriptum: I went and looked ad Brad's report for Newstreamz and then reread version six I found no mention of a three property minimum or a definition for commercial rental property, but he may be referring to another version.
My intention was to "thank" the landlords, board of realtors and others for finally taking an interest, not you Dan, although my replies to your comments were to you (and anyone else who cares).
Sadly, I believe that if the ordinance covers only people with three or more properties, all but 16 of the Sagewood duplexes would be exempt. It appears that in addition to living out of state, most of these owners "contribute" nothing to the city, except for one or two run down duplexes.
I'd love to see the whole neighborhood turned into green space, which is what it was supposed to be all along.
Perhaps the thrust should be on absentee landlords and not those who own three or more properties, in fact more than one would require a TREC License, which could be subject to revocation.
I guarantee that were a tenant of mine a problem, not only would it affect me first and foremost, that tenant of mine would be gone as soon as possible, not limited to, but including 24 hours.
By purchasing my house I actually improved the balance of owners to renters on my block, increased the property value and displaced three unrelated tenants in one fell swoop. Yet the city would see me as part of the problem...
Incidentally, I'd love to see Sagewood turned into the greenspace it was meant to be. Perhaps W.C. Carson should pony up for it...
Personally, I'm not a big fan of just do something so it looks like we're trying, which is what the proposed ordinance appears to be. It brings a lot of non problem renters and landlords into a system, that if it is enforced as well as the current laws on the book will do nothing for the neighbors of Sagewood. Punishing 60% of the people in town because of a few bad renters isn't sound policy.
How are property values going to be affected if a bunch of landlords decide they can't absorb the new fees and dump their rental properties? Remember rent is determined by supply and demand just like property values, not by cost.
1. It's a back door try at dealing with the problem. The ordinance is written to address different (although related) problems and pitched as health and safety protection for the renters. Bull. You want my support? Write a well thought out ordinance which directly addresses the problem you are trying to deal with. I understand long time resident's frustrations, especially those who have been impacted by Sagewood. Another poorly written ordinance will not fix things.
2. I am supposed to trust that the city and agencies who have FAILED at evenly and fairly enforcing the EXISTING codes and ordinances, can somehow make this new one work, and have it not be another economic drain? I'm all stocked up on crazy and I'm not buying any more. Sagewood is party central, because the city has allowed/encouraged it by not enforcing the rules there.
The legitimate frustration which Sagewood neighbors have should be directed first at the police and fire departments for not doing their jobs.
I really feel for the neighbors of Sagewood. They've had to put up with a bunch of B.S., which they shouldn't have to, and which has impacted them financially and emotionally. I know that people, such as Semi, are tired of it, and I understand why they get angry. I would too. I know that they want to see things get better. I just don't think things like the rental ordinance are going to work, and I don't want to see time and effort wasted on a program that has a high chance of failure. In the long run it will do more harm than good.
All I would ask of anyone at this point is to support the neighbors in getting a workable solution in place. So far, at every turn, we have faced opposition or indifference. People have used this issue for their own political gain, over and over. The issue MUST be addressed. If that means more enforcement, then some of you folks need to stand with us when the next carpet bagger stands up and says he is running on behalf of the "persecuted" students. If it means bulldozing the whole neighborhood and turning it into the green space it was originally intended to be, we'll need support for that too.
One thing is for certain; until this problem is resolved, those of us who are suffering are going to make others suffer. This is going to be painful and costly to a lot of people until it gets fixed. We're done quietly waiting for the problem to magically go away.
As I?ve stated before, I understand your frustration and largely support your position. I want to quote something from one of your neighbors posted over at Newstreamz.com:
?I attended several city council meetings last year when the Sagewood issue was in high gear. At that time I had just read the Noise Ordinance and was amazed at how comprehensive it was when including the issue of nuisance properties.
When the San Marcos PD spokesperson was giving statistics I found it interesting that out of over 2000 complaints in the Sagewood area in recent years that there were approximately 200 resulted in citations and/or arrests that seemed to be a reasonable percentage. I then asked how many of those 2000 complaints resulted in fines or citations being given to the PROPERTY OWNERS? The answer was ZERO (000) NOT ONE PROPERTY OWNER?..THERE is a remedy in Noise Ordinance (I will forward it to you if you don?t have a copy) that addresses this exact issue, yet it has not been used once in the SAGEWOOD area?.. There are clearly a number of property owners that should be cited and then I believe we would start to see a lasting effect?. Before we spend a small fortune creating a new ordinance (pertaining to the property owner) what do you say we try using the one we have AT LEAST ONCE??
If this is true ? I know the guy and don?t doubt it, then the problem is at city hall. Clearly too few complaints garner a citation, and so far, no property owners have been held responsible. And whatever remedy there is in the noise ordinance hasn?t been used at all. That?s a serious problem and points to irresponsibility and dereliction of duty. I?ve written to a council member to enforce that sort of remedy and even hold the landlord responsible when the tenant can?t be found or won?t cooperate. So I?m doing what I can to support you without having the whole town suffer, but the sentiment that ?those of us who are suffering are going to make others suffer? isn?t going to win a lot of points with people. Perhaps your ad hoc committee name should be the ?Sagewood Liberation Organization.?