Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards said recently that it is time for the city to “take the gloves off” with a troublesome rental property near campus.
Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards waves during the city's holiday parade in 2016. Edwards said recently it was time for Bowling Green “take the gloves off” with a troublesome rental property near the BGSU campus.
The owners and tenants of houses like the one the mayor targeted — with multiple noise complaints, trash and furniture in the yard — have had plenty of warning that Bowling Green intends to clean up. It is time to ramp up code enforcement and, if necessary, take owners to court to hold them accountable for the properties and their tenants’ behavior.
The city has taken steps in the last year to address blight in its eastside neighborhoods, which are dense with student-rental properties. Prompted by complaints about bad student behavior and deteriorating properties, it commissioned a consultant to draft a neighborhood revitalization plan for that portion of the city.
City council is considering revamping its zoning ordinances to address problems created by years of ignoring codes that should not have allowed so many single-family homes to be carved up into multi-unit rental properties.
Most importantly, the city has partnered with Bowling Green State University to reach out to students and help make them better neighbors. City and university officials teamed up to go door-to-door early in the last school year, coaxing students to clean up after themselves and to be considerate neighbors. By all accounts, the efforts paid off with many students and their landlords making an effort to address problems in the eastside neighborhoods.
If a year’s worth of those gentle and friendly tactics has failed to persuade some student tenants and their landlords, the city should indeed take the gloves off.
BGSU students deserve decent, well maintained rental housing. Bowling Green’s full-time residents deserve to live in a city where students and their landlords respect their neighbors.
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