The opinion of the court was delivered by: NEALON
This action was initiated by the plaintiff, the Lock Haven Property Owners' Association and on behalf of all other Lock Haven property owners subject to registration of rental units, on September 15, 1995 to enforce a Consent Decree entered by this court on February 1, 1985. The plaintiffs allege that the defendants have adopted a rental unit registration ordinance, Ordinance Number 442, which not only violates the Consent Decree but is also unconstitutional. On October 16, 1995, the defendants filed a motion in opposition to the plaintiff's motion. Plaintiffs submitted a reply brief on October 27, 1995.
A conference between the parties and the court was held in chambers on November 3, 1995. At that conference, the court requested that the parties file supplementary brief confined to the specific issue of the constitutionality of the new Lock Haven ordinance. Plaintiffs and defendants submitted their briefs on November 14, 1995. The court will now address the issue of the constitutionality of Lock Haven Ordinance Number 442.
On June 21, 1993, the defendants enacted Lock Haven Ordinance Number 442. The Ordinance provides, in relevant part:
Section 3. Prohibition of Occupancy. No residential unit shall be occupied by other than the owner thereof unless there is displayed at the structure in which the unit is located a Certificate of Inspection as required by the provisions of this Ordinance.
Section 4. Inspection Requirements. Residential units occupied or to be occupied by other than the owner thereof shall be subject to inspection in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance.
a. Purpose. Inspections required by this Ordinance shall be for the purpose of determining compliance with the provisions of the Code as in effect in the City on the date of inspection.
c. Timing of Inspections.
(i) As for any residential unit unoccupied or occupied by the owner on or after the effective date hereof, a Certificate of Inspection shall be issued and displayed prior to occupancy of such residential unit by anyone other than the owner and subsequent inspections shall occur as set forth in subparagraph (c) (ii).
(ii) As for any residential unit occupied by other than the owner as of the effective date hereof and for all subsequent inspections, inspections required by this Ordinance shall be completed and the Certificate of Inspection issued and displayed not later than December 31 of the year for which inspection is required. In no event shall such an inspection be conducted prior to January 1 of the year for which the inspection is required. The City shall be divided into districts as follows:
1. District I - First, Second and Fifth Wards of the City.
2. District II - Third Ward of the City.
3. District III - Fourth Ward of the City.
Residential Units subject to the inspection requirements of this Ordinance and located in District I shall be inspected during the calendar year in which the Ordinance shall become effective and every third year thereafter. Residential Units subject to the inspection requirements of this Ordinance and located in District II shall be inspected during the first calendar year subsequent to the year in which this Ordinance becomes effective and every third year thereafter. Residential Units subject to the inspection requirements of this Ordinance and located in District III ...