The Norman Transcript

Opinion

February 23, 2014

‘Nuisance House’ law should remain unchanged

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript: 

As past president of the South Pickard Neighborhood Association and a homeowner, I take extreme issue with Mr. Lungren and his total lack of knowledge, and caring, about this ever-present problem. A few years ago I had the pleasure of being appointed by Mayor Rosenthal to the “Nuisance House” commission. As you may or may not know, that commission came about out after the death of a University of Oklahoma student from alcohol poisoning.  The Norman Police Department at that time shared with us videos they had taken at some of these “Nuisance  Houses;” one of which had over 1,000 people in attendance by their estimation, at an off-campus party. We had many civic leaders, as well as Chief Cotten and Chief Woolen from Norman and OU Police Departments and other staff from the university and Greek community on the commission.

The neighborhoods of Norman became the “dumping ground” of the university problem, when they declared OU as an alcohol free zone with zero tolerance, and now Mr. Lungren wishes to “dump” on us once more.  I know exactly why Mr. Lungren wants this law abolished; it’s because the current law holds him responsible for the actions of his tenants. The law requires that the owner be notified when tenants are issued a ticket by the police.  More than one requires that the owner escalate his actions with his tenants and three can lead to utilities such as water being cut off and remaining off until the tenants move or make restitution.  All fair to those who must endure the daily trials of living around a “mini dorm.” The commission met for months, sought information from several college communities the same size and makeup of Norman and with great thought and discussion came up with our current laws. 

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