City of Bellefontaine Neighbors Attacks First Amendment Rights Again

Well, the City of Bellefontaine Neighbors, in north St. Louis County, is back at it again. As some readers may recall, in February of last year I wrote about the appellant court declaring that an ordinance passed by the City of Bellefontaine Neighbors requiring property owners to apply for an inspection before advertising their home for sale violated their property rights and was unconstitutional. Then, the following month I wrote another article on the subject, this time about how, in spite of the decision of the appellant court, the city of Bellefontaine was still enforcing the ordinance.

So what are they up to?  Well, this afternoon I found out that tomorrow, May 5th, the Bellefontaine Neighbors Board of Alderman will consider passing Bill No. 2233, “Pre-Sales Inspections”, which, if passed, would in my opinion be the City thumbing their noses at the Eastern District Court of Appeals decision since this bill is basically the same as the ordinance struck down by the court with the exception being that in this one instead of requiring an application for an inspection PRIOR to listing your home for sale it now says you have to apply within 3 days of advertising your home for sale.  Yep, I’m serious….

While some of you may think this doesn’t affect you because you don’t own property in the City of Bellefontaine Neighbors, think again…Ordinances tend to spread from one municipality to another, particularly in a case like this where the city attorney, Kevin O’Keefe, represents many other municipalities in the area.

So what can you do to try to prevent this?  The St. Louis Association of REALTORS has set up a Call to Action and you can easily send a message to the Alderman of the City of Bellefontaine Neighbors encouraging them not to pass this bill by clicking on this link.

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