City officials say they may soon crack down on what they call illegal apartments.
If apartment owners don't start complying with city ordinances, city officials say they'll take action to close the apartments. The apartments are typically in the basements, guest houses or carriage houses of single-family homes.Mapleton's tough accessory apartment ordinance permits apartments in any zone but requires owner occupancy. City Councilwoman Charlee Hanna said the city might have as many as 150 illegal apartments.
"These need to meet the Uniform Building code for safety," said Bill Jones, zoning administrator, during a City Council work session Wednesday. "People are breaking the law and the code needs to be enforced."
Jones said officials know where some of the accessory apartments are but not all of them. Part of the problem, noted Jones, is that Mapleton has no ordinance regulating the number of kitchens in a home.
Mayor Richard Young said owners of illegal apartments are penalizing other residents because they are not paying their fair share of city utilities.
Some, however, say cracking down on illegal apartments could hurt lower-income residents by pushing rental rates up. The city doesn't have much low-income housing and accessory apartments are all some residents can afford.