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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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Cape May City OKs Ordinance on Lead Paint Inspections

Cape May City OKs Ordinance on Lead Paint Inspections

By Vince Conti

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CAPE MAY – The City Council has adopted an ordinance detailing the process for lead paint inspections in long-term rental properties built before 1978.

The inspections are mandated by state statute. City Solicitor Christopher Gillin-Schwartz said the ordinance does not seek to go beyond the state requirements, although initially the council considered doing so.

The properties open to inspection are long-term rental dwellings leased for a minimum of six months and built before 1978. The 1978 cutoff date is part of state regulations and assumes that lead paint was largely off the market by that time.

In discussions at earlier meetings, council members considered the possibility of extending the lead paint inspection requirement to short-term rentals, potentially going the “extra mile” to ensure resident safety. An ad hoc committee was appointed to look at the issue.

The immediate result was that the city did not add short-term rentals to the ordinance and has no plans to move into that arena. The council did indicate that it may come back to that issue at a future date.

To streamline the process, the city’s Fire Bureau will incorporate a visual paint inspection as part of the already required fire inspection for rental properties. Visible chipped or peeling paint will have to be repaired.

The state requires that municipalities charge a minimum $20 for the paint inspection process, with the revenue to be deposited in the state’s Hazard Control Assistance Fund. A municipality may charge more to cover its cost, but Cape May will not do so.

Mayor Zack Mullock has said often at council meetings that the city is not seeking any revenue from the inspection process. The ordinance is effective 20 days after its June 18 passage by the council.

Contact the reporter, Vince Conti, at vconti@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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