Huntington City Council unanimously passes 'Drug House Ordinance'

Published: Sep. 11, 2017 at 10:04 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Huntington City Council unanimously passed an ordinance to crack down on landlords who look the other way when properties become home to illegal activities.

Landlords could be in trouble if their property is involved in two felonies in the span of a year.

The city will notify landlords and give them 30 days to evict the tenant. If the landlord fails to do so, they could face serious fines, owing anywhere between $100 and $500 each day the tenant remains in place.

Owners of vacant properties will be subject to the same penalty.

Joseph Cohen, executive director of ACLU-WV, released the following statement about passage of the “Drug House Ordinance:”

“The new ordinance in Huntington, like the ordinance in Martinsburg and other locations around the state, is simply bad policy. It is punitive, shortsighted and fails to account for the best interests of the whole community. We are disappointed that the Huntington City Council has decided to put the stable housing of those suffering from addiction and their children at risk. We will be monitoring the implementation of this new ordinance for possible constitutional violations going forward.”