A year-old ordinance regulating accessory apartments could face changes now that the city has decided to enforce it.
More than 100 homes in Mapleton have apartments, but none have registered with the city, said zoning inspector Bill Jones. Renting them is illegal.The ordinance requires homeowners with apartments, often in their basements, to prove the apartments were built with a building permit and had a city inspection. And it requires homeowners to pay a $6,000 impact fee.
That's a problem for Lynn Brown, whose home was built in 1961. Brown wants to rent her apartment legally. But the city has no record of a building permit for the apartment in her basement because it was built before records were kept, said city attorney Jim Brady.
The apartment was used before her family bought the home, and she wants to begin using it again.
Brown said she may no longer need to rent the apartment by the time she gains city approval.
She also objects to the impact fee and asked if it could be prorated or if the city could set up a payment plan.
"That could open a can of worms," said Mayor Richard Young. But he said officials will look for a solution.
Brady said the city may revise the ordinance, which doesn't exclude older homes with apartments already in place as some other cities do. Young said that for years Mapleton officials have ignored accessory apartments but now must enforce the year-old rule, largely because of safety issues.