Lehigh Valley

Nazareth could start regulating rentals

NAZARETH, Pa. - Borough officials say the Nazareth community is set to join a number of other Lehigh Valley municipalities in regulating and inspecting rental properties.

Nazareth Council will introduce an ordinance next week that will require landlords to pay a yearly licensing fee and undergo an inspection every five years.

Speaking at Thursday night's council work session, Councilman John Samus said he hopes to see the ordinance approved at the September meeting.

He also took questions on the ordinance from residents, saying the borough had crafted it based on similar policies in communities such as Wilson and Emmaus.

"This wasn't something we pulled out of the air," he said.

The inspections will likely start in the borough's commercial district and move outward. The fees are still under consideration, Samus said.

"We're not really looking at it as a money maker," he said. "We're trying to gain control of what's happening to our borough."

Property owner Jay Orwig said he was concerned about the program being run consistently and fairly.

"Whatever we start, we've got to have a real clear plan on how it's run," he said.

Also Thursday, council gave its blessing to a plan by Michael Fauerbach, a resident who wants to make improvements at the Nazareth skate park.

"I know the ramps need to be fixed, I know it needs to be cleaned up," said Fauerbach, who told council he hopes to make the park more kid and parent friendly, possibly by lifting a ban on bikes and scooters.

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