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House Fire Prompts Landlord Restriction Talks

City Council will discuss curbs on rental property owners, using Glenview for police and fire dispatch services and more at Monday’s meeting.

This basement bedroom in Highland Park is a code violation. Photo courtesy of City of Highland Park.
This basement bedroom in Highland Park is a code violation. Photo courtesy of City of Highland Park.

In the wake of a fire which injured two Highland Park residents, one critically Dec. 21, the City Council will discuss tighter restrictions on owners of rental housing during its Committee of the Whole meeting at 4:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

In September, the Council began an investigation of code violations in rental housing where there were potentially both too many people living in one place and unsafe living conditions. The Dec. 21 fire prompted the Council to discuss the issue at its next regularly scheduled meeting.

Nine people were living in the home that burned Dec. 21 with two sleeping in the basement contrary to the City Building Code. The critically injured person was unconscious in one of those bedrooms when rescued by the Highland Park Fire Department. There were also no working smoke detectors, another code violation.

The Council will also consider a proposal to prepare a contract for police and fire dispatch services with Glenview, according to its agenda.

If ultimately approved, Highland Park would join with Lake Forest and Lake Bluff using the Glenview center, according to a story in the Highland Park News. A cost savings between $3.1 and $4.9 million in the first five years is possible for the three Lake County towns.

A complete copy of the agenda is available on the City’s website.

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Highlands HP'er January 13, 2014 at 11:53 AM
This is the problem with government sometimes.... how would additional restrictions make any difference? The current landlord was already breaking the law in numerous ways. It sounds like what we had was an *enforcement* problem.

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