Green Park P&Z recommends updates to occupancy permit process

Green Park P&Z recommends updates to occupancy permit process

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

The Green Park planning commission had the chance to review changes to the city’s occupancy permit process Sept. 6.

Members of the city’s Board of Aldermen have called for changes to the process in the past. In February, City Attorney Paul Rost was asked to review the process after Ward 1 Alderman Michael Broughton described a scenario where a Green Park home is sold to someone representing a residential medical facility and the home is within the city mandated 500-foot distance of another group home/residential medical facility. He said at that point if the city asks the residents to leave, the situation could result in a lawsuit.

“If we don’t address these issues, I can assure you it will only be a matter of time before these corporations that are gobbling up residential property are going to eat up Green Park,” Broughton said.

Rost’s changes included adding a timeframe for when new occupants will need a permit, stating its required to get one and pay a fee and providing a remedy if the city finds out a report was falsely filed. Rost said the remedy could go as far as revoking the permit and asking occupants to leave the home, but would likely start with a fine.

City Administrator James Mello explained to the commission that staff is as proactive as they can be with permits, keeping track of utility bill name changes and following up with residents. He said they catch about two to three per month, but “a lot of times it’s an innocent mistake.”

The commission approved the changes for recommendation to the board.