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Forum staff reports , Published April 07 2014

West Fargo to research proposed 'unruly tenant' ordinance

WEST FARGO – The City Commission here asked residents to call police immediately to report a man one neighborhood says continually harasses residents.

The request was part of the first steps the commission took to help residents of the Chateau Sheyenne mobile home development who asked the city to consider enacting an unruly tenant ordinance.

Residents say one man in their neighborhood has repeatedly harassed neighbors with insults, obscene gestures and threats of violence. He then calls police on neighbors who react.

Resident Kevin Rod, who proposed the ordinance, said he modeled the proposal after similar cities. However, City Attorney Jon Shockley said the proposal sounds like a rental registry ordinance and may not work in this situation because the man lives in a home owned by his mother.

“It may not necessarily address the problem here because it’s for rental units,” Shockley said. “It’s also geared more towards health and safety.”

On Monday, Mayor Rich Mattern said Shockley can continue to research if an ordinance that could address the problem can be drafted. In the meantime, Assistant Police Chief Mike Reitan said he will be contacting the homeowner and that all residents should immediately report to police any disturbance by the man.

“I think we can all sympathize with what’s going on here,” Mattern said. “These are some first steps.”