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SeaCoastOnline.com: New conditions will be Part of Brewster St. Rooming House Vote


PORTSMOUTH In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, the City Council agreed to bring back a list of stipulations to be considered as part of a vote on a new permit for the Brewster Street rooming house.

The vote means that when the council meets March 4, it will add a host of conditions to the renewal permit for the 21 Brewster St. rooming house.

Councilors agreed to include the list of stipulations without any discussion Tuesday night.

Consideration of the proposed conditions comes only two weeks after the council held a work session on the ongoing activity at the boarding house.

During the Feb. 4 work session, city officials unveiled a list of recommendations they suggested be considered before the council decides whether to issue the rooming house a new permit to operate in the city. The current permit expires March 20.

Recommendations presented included extending the current permit for only three months with an inspection and report back on progress made at the facility, and requiring full-time professional management of the facility, as well as ensuring such a management firm has the ability to respond to municipal inquiries and requests 24/7.

Other recommendations called for integrated pest management to be maintained on a monthly basis, or more often if needed, with monthly reports submitted to the Health Department; requiring all common floors to remain nonporous and nonabsorbent with cleanable surfaces; and requiring soiled or infested bedding be disposed of and not reused.

In addition to agreeing to include the recommendation from city staff, councilors also agreed to forward a list of stipulations requested by the Islington Creek Neighborhood Association.

The neighborhood group is responsible for leading the charge over the years to get the city to clean up the rooming house.

According to a letter from Elizabeth Moreau, the neighborhood group is proposing that a host of other conditions be included in the new permit.

One stipulation recommended by the neighborhood group involves the city having the ability to regularly monitor the property to ensure compliance. The stipulation would allow for the city to conduct surprise, unannounced inspections of the property.

The neighborhood group also wants to ensure that the boarding house permit can be revoked or not renewed if the property owner fails to comply with conditions.

City Manager John Bohenko said he will work with city staff to determine if the stipulations recommended by the neighborhood group can be included in the renewal permit.
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