Our city’s bureaucracy, perhaps emboldened by a lack of news coverage, is completely out of control.

Tuesday, it will consider two radical proposals related to real estate, both of which could have profound impacts.

Original Ordinance 2036 would allow land in the R2, R3 and R2M zones to be subdivided into tiny lots, narrower than a doublewide. The city Planning Office, heavily lobbied by local builders, is trying to “densify” housing in all areas of Laramie, reducing size, space and parking requirements so that builders can pack more housing into each lot.

The bureaucrats claim that this will make housing “affordable,” but it appears that those who lobbied for it intend to do infill development, packing in squalid units as narrow as 10 feet wide and pocket the savings rather than lowering sales prices or rents.

If you don’t want dozens of tightly packed, squalid cabins narrower than railroad cars suddenly to appear near the home in which you have invested your life’s savings, you should oppose this ordinance.

The second, Original Ordinance 2039, would create a Laramie Rental Housing Code. It would impose Draconian regulations, bureaucracy and large expenses upon rental property owners, including residents who rent out apartments or cottages on their own property. It requires mandatory registration of all rental units with annual registration fees per unit and criminal penalties for noncompliance.

It further requires that the city be allowed to inspect units (a provision that has been ruled unconstitutional in other cities and states). And it prohibits either the landlord or a handyman from making even basic repairs to things like plumbing. A “licensed contractor” must do them, even if the delay (have you ever tried to get a plumber to come quickly in Laramie?) causes extensive damage.

The ordinance also directly conflicts with state law.

It is vital that the public “show up” virtually, because the meetings are held via Zoom, to oppose both of these ordinances. The meeting will be accessible via telephone (call 1-669-900-9128) or via the Zoom app; meeting ID 89885219136 and passcode 706776.

Brett Glass

Laramie

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