Town Board adopts revised rental housing code with increased safety measures, after fatal downtown fire
The Riverhead Town Board amended the town's rental dwellings code last week to require all third-floor rental units have increased safety measures, including a second means of egress, sprinklers and interconnected smoke detectors.
Riverhead's proposed rental code amendments include requirements for a second means of egress and sprinklers in homes with third-floor apartments — both of which were lacking in the home where a fatal fire killed five family members trapped in an apartment on the third floor. The proposed code had a public hearing last week.
A proposal to amend the rental housing permit code drew a crowd to a town board public hearing Tuesday night, where more than two dozen speakers objected to the revisions, which they said would discriminate against immigrants, low-income workers, the disabled, and other people who depend on shared housing.
Riverhead Town’s proposed rental code revisions has drawn opposition from housing and civil rights advocates, who argue that the proposal is discriminatory and violates county, state and federal law.
A public hearing will be held Aug. 17 on a proposed Riverhead Town Code amendment related that takes aim at overcrowded and substandard rental housing in the town.
Owners of mobile and manufactured homes who rent their units in mobile home parks will be required to provide park management with town-issued rental permits — and the park will be required to maintain the permits in its management office — under proposed code revisions set for a public hearing next month.