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West Jordan considers landlord program

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WEST JORDAN — The City Council is considering implementation of a Good Landlord Program similar to those in Ogden, South Salt Lake, Draper and West Valley City.

The city has agreed to pay Wikstrom Economic & Planning Consultant Inc. a total of $17,000 for two initial studies about the program. The studies will look at whether businesses such as apartment buildings require more police and emergency services than single-family rentals. Using dispatch and land records, they hope to achieve findings at a 95 percent confidence level.

The studies will also look into whether the city spends different amounts on other kinds of businesses and will recommend a new business license fee schedule, according to a staff report on the issue. The studies could be finished within about five months, but implementation of results may have to wait on changes to Utah code that could be construed as banning disproportionate fees.

Those changes are likely in the 2009 session, according to a report by the Lewis, Young, Robertson and Burningham firm.

Thereafter, West Jordan will move ahead with implementation of the landlord program, said city spokeswoman Kim Wells. Similar programs have reduced business license fees for landlords willing to take classes from the Utah Apartment Association. The landlords then must screen tenants and help reduce police service calls to their properties to continue receiving the discount.

— Rebecca Palmer