Apples and oranges

Ward Two Alderman Johnny Anderson has come up with a new proposal to set minimum standards for the appearance of property in New Albany.

It would outline a number of items that would be a violation of city ordinance, including junk vehicles, the storage of junk, garbage or waste products on the property, blocking access to a public street, alley or way, allowing vegetation such as grass, bushes, trees and plants to become overgrown and any other types of nuisances that would “negatively affect the health, safety, welfare” of neighbors.
Violations would be misdemeanors with a fine of $100 and up to 30 days in jail. Each day the violation continues would be a separate offense.
Anderson has cast his proposal as an alternative to a proposal by Alderman Scott Dunnam that would set minimum standards for rental housing.
Dunnam’s proposal would require rentals to be inspected by the city. Rentals would have to have minimal things such as running water, a toilet, sink, bathtub or shower, heat and ventilation, electrical, protection from weather and the like.
We think two things about Anderson’s proposal:
First, it seems to reflect a lot of what already is current law and is not well enforced.
And second, the two proposals are apples and oranges. Anderson’s proposal does nothing to make sure the rental properties in our city are indeed habitable.
New Albany needs to improve its appearance, but it also needs minimum standards for rental housing. One issue has little to do with the other.