A previous blog entry (click here to read it) spoke to advertising in the Western Front in which a local property management firm placed an ad for homes with 2 to 5 bedrooms within easy walk of WWU. Speaking with some WWU students the other day, I found several who were planning to move in groups of 5 into single family homes in the York Neighborhood. They expressed surprised when I apprised them of the zoning regulations prohibiting such rentals.
This should not shock those who might take a casual stroll through the Viking Union, as I did last week. There, next to the US post office annex, was a bulletin board with housing rental offers (each bearing the approval of the relevant office of the Viking Union) of single family homes most of which expressly stated that the rentals were available for 4-6 persons. A particular ad even provided a per person rate. One home was at 21st and Mills, another on
So, here we have an office within WWU which is approving the posting of ads from landlords who are clearly violating the Bellingham Municipal Code. (Check the WWU on-line ad list yourself by clicking here. Then click on List Your Rental Unit or Room [for listing agents] and then click on View Rental List) Why is the university allowing the posting of such ads? Our least expectation is that WWU would ensure that it does not become involved in activities which have a propensity to support scofflaw landlords. The university could also post notices with the text of the city’s law and declare it highly recommends not entering into rental situations which are clearly code violations. No wonder then that the students profess ignorance of city laws when the university gives its tacit approval. Perhaps the Mayor could pen a note to the WWU hierarchy asking that they cease involvement in such advertising.