Doraville Considers Taking a Position on State Legislation

Doraville’s city council will be considering several resolutions at its work session and special called council meeting tonight – each one in support or opposition to bills that are moving through the state legislature. These are:

  • A resolution to oppose House Bill 302 / Senate Bill 172, which prevents cities from requiring builders meet certain design standards. I am against this legislation, because I think that what works in South Georgia may not be appropriate in Doraville, and I would not want to see our city lose a tool that could enforce better design.
  • A resolution to oppose House Bill 242, which would prevent local governments from regulating massage therapy businesses. I oppose this House Bill, because I think our city should have the right to control the number of massage businesses that operate in the city.
  • A resolution to support Senate Resolution 66 – Georgia’s ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. I wholeheartedly support efforts to get Georgia to ratify the ERA, and am excited that this has seen some movement in 2019.
  • A resolution to support House Bill 346, prohibiting landlord retaliation when tenants complain about living conditions. I’ll write more about my support of this below.

Overall, I’m happy that our city is taking some stands and trying to be a part of the legislative process – particularly on issues that directly affect us.

Last month, I asked our council to support a resolution asking the state legislature to change the law that prohibits cities from keeping track of rental properties. The other members of council were cautious about stepping out too far without support from other cities. They did agree to let our legal department write a resolution that we could share with other cities to see if we can get broader support for and pass as a group. You can see the resolution the city’s legal team drafted here, and I will be sharing it with officials from other cities in the weeks and months to come.

I was happy to see that the House is working on a bill that allows people who live in rental houses to complain about unsafe or unsanitary conditions without fear of reprisal (HB 346). I think this could be a first step towards eliminating unsafe boarding houses by holding landlords accountable for the property they own. I also hope that this could be the first in a series of legislative actions aimed at regulating how Georgia’s rental market works, and possibly an entry point to introducing a means for municipal regulation of single family home rentals in the near future. That’s why I’m happy to support this legislation, and am glad to support the resolution in favor of it at the council meeting.