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City of Duluth threatened with lawsuit over rental regulations

The city of Duluth has been asked to delay implementation of a recently passed rental reform ordinance or face a class-action lawsuit.

A letter sent Monday by Duluth attorney Jerome Feriancek includes a draft complaint that he states will be served before week's end if the city will not pause to reconsider new regulations poised to take effect shortly. Along with the suit, Feriancek said he also intends to file a motion for a temporary restraining order on behalf of local property owners whom he represents.

"There is an obvious underlying motive within this particular ordinance with respect to excluding certain people from Duluth neighborhoods," Feriancek claims in his letter. "At a minimum, if there was no intent, it will have an unfortunate impact on neighborhoods, resulting in the wholesale exclusion of certain segments of the Duluth population."

He also expressed concern about the effect the new rules will have on property owners and the city's rationale for the fees that would be assessed.

The Duluth News Tribune will have more on this story as it develops.