One year after Creve Coeur began requiring re-occupancy inspections of apartments, city building inspectors say they're ready to take on the task of doing the same for Creve Coeur homes and condominiums.
But city council members briefed Monday on the proposal say they still have questions about the idea.
According to Chief Building Inspector Steve Unser, the move to inspect apartments prior to re-occupancy came from incidents in 2011 that saw residents injured in stairways which failed. Unser said his team found 3,000 violations over the course of 1,854 inspections in 2012.
The St. Louis Association of Realtors asked the city to start a home re-occupancy inspection program at the same time it began inspecting apartments, as a way to ensure equal treatment. The city decided to hold off to see how the first program worked before going with the second.
Unser said in his staff report—and repeated Monday—that the city is often asked why it doesn't already do re-occupancy inspections, especially by home buyers who have complained that something wasn't caught prior to purchase.
But council members were skeptical about the idea. Ward 3 Councilwoman Charlotte D'Alfonso said she's received two emails supportive of it and 14 opposed.
She also asked Unser if a home buyer could avoid a city inspection if they had a private one. Unser confirmed that this would not be a substitute for a private inspection.
Ward 2 Councilman AJ Wang, a residential property owner in other communities in addition to being a Creve Coeur resident, voiced concern over the idea of government watching over people's homes in this way.
"Council will get calls from angry residents. We'll be stuck in a position between resdients and staff," he said. Wang also wondered if the concept could end up encouraging people to stay away from buying in Creve Coeur.
Unser will return to council members with more information about what neighboring communities do, and the kinds of things inspectors look for in a checklist, noting that there would be differences in the checklist for a condominium and a home.
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