St. Louis Park council to vote on suspension of crime-free, drug-free ordinance

December 17, 2018 07:06 AM

Monday night, the St. Louis Park City Council will decide whether to suspend one of its ordinances.

The possible change comes after a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation into the crime-free, drug-free ordinance.

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The ordinance allows the police to order landlords to evict renters accused of taking part in criminal activity.

The ordinance has been in effect for ten years.

City officials said the ordinance was formed with good intentions - to keep serious criminals and nuisance renters from ruining the quality of life for their neighbors.

However, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS talked to some who say it's gone too far.

"I was actually so angry that, and how can you evict somebody who hasn't been convicted of anything?," Matthew Metz, whose son was evicted, said.

Metz's son is a vulnerable adult who lost his home after getting into a fight with a neighbor last summer.

He's also not alone - a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation found at least 150 people have been kicked out of their rentals in St. Louis Park without being convicted of, or in some cases even charged with, a crime.


More from KSTP.com:

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation has St. Louis Park considering moratorium on crime-free, drug-free ordinance

Housing attorney says 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation exposes 'troubling' evictions

Evicted before convicted: St. Louis Park police order landlords to force people from their homes


City officials said they originally put the ordinance into effect to hold landlords accountable for disorderly renters. However, council members say they're now considering changes.

"Because I do believe losing your housing is a significant penalty and certainly can have the same kind of negative, long-term impacts just like a criminal history could as well," Anne Mavity, with the city council, said.

City council members will meet Monday night to talk about the crime-free, drug-free ordinance. They said they are considering suspending certain provisions and that it is in direct response to the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation.

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Credits

Alex Jokich & Rebecca Omastiak

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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