County board member expects code changes

Champaign County Board member Stan James of Rantoul said the Cherry Orchard apartment complex case has caught the eye of several county board members, and he thinks action will be taken to assist rural renters.

"State laws changed after the first of the year, so we're going to review them and try to make (the county code) stronger," James said.

He said several county board members approached him following Wednesday's meeting at the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and said they want to take action on rural dwellings where life safety is an issue.

"We've got to do something," James said, adding that Cherry Orchard is by no means the only place in the county with substandard housing.

The county board last year adopted a habitability code that addresses rural dwellings.

James said John Hall, county director of planning and zoning, "guaranteed me he would look into emergency violations such as life safety" if he receives complaints. He said he has received no such complaints about Cherry Orchard. James said Rantoul Township would be one entity that could file a complaint because the apartment complex lies within the township.

If complaints are filed, James said, he and health officials would be able to post signs at Cherry Orchard indicating they are "unrentable."

 

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