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Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:55 PM

(Watertown)City Council changes code to stipulate who can live in a home in certain neighborhoods

City Council changes code to stipulate who can live in a home in certain neighborhoods

Watertown (WTNY) -- Watertown City Council has made a slight change to the city codes that better stipulate who can live in a home in certain neighborhoods.

The issue recently came up regarding residents living in a home along Thompson Blvd. Travis Hartman owns a home at 257 Thompson. Not only has he lived there recently, but his fiance and two friends have as well. No one is paying rent and the friends are simply helping with other costs according to Hartman. Neighbor Deborah Cavallario has publicly stated she is worried that such living arrangements go against residential codes for that neighborhood and most of the council agreed. In a 3-2 vote, the council changed the code slightly, which would make such future arrangements illegal.

Voting against the measure were Mayor Jeff Graham and Councilwoman Terresa Macaluso.

Opponents to the plan have questioned whether the new code are even enforceable.

http://www.myabc50.com/news/local/story/City-Council-changes-code-to-stipulate-who-can/f74G-iJZV0SQmLQEtq1-wA.cspx

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Reply (Watertown)City Council changes code to stipulate who can live in a home in certain neighborhoods (Original post)
The Straight Story Feb 2013 OP
JustAnotherGen Feb 2013 #1
pnwmom Feb 2013 #8
Tempest Feb 2013 #2
SheilaT Feb 2013 #3
loli phabay Feb 2013 #4
TeamPooka Mar 2013 #14
loli phabay Mar 2013 #16
sadbear Feb 2013 #5
Recursion Feb 2013 #6
pnwmom Feb 2013 #7
OwnedByCats Mar 2013 #9
Mariana Mar 2013 #11
pnwmom Mar 2013 #17
bluedigger Mar 2013 #10
Retrograde Mar 2013 #13
bluedigger Mar 2013 #15
kelliekat44 Mar 2013 #12

Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:59 PM

1. That's ridiculous

So co-habitating folks who live in a house with only ONE persons name on the deed/mortgage . . . now the 'owner' has to collect rent?

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 04:34 PM

8. I don't think that's implied here.

I think the idea is that EVEN IF the owner doesn't collect rent, there are still 4 unrelated people living in the house. The fact that they aren't renters doesn't change anything.

I'm not promoting the law, by the way.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 04:13 PM

2. Violates NY state law and several NY specific court decisions

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 04:17 PM

3. I know that apartments often have limitations

on how many persons can occupy them. Sometimes the numbers are different for unrelated people as compared to related people.

But that's not a zoning thing, just an occupancy thing. Again, when I've heard of this, it's been in connection with apartments.

I do wonder if placing limits on occupancy for a single family home can actually be done. I do hope this is fought in the courts.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 04:23 PM

4. I think there needs to be common sense in these things

 

to many people in a confined area can be bad for health and hygiene and causes other issues with neighbours such as taking up the whole street for parking etc. not sure what the answer is but there does need to be limits.

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Response to loli phabay (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 02:41 PM

14. your logic would allow the city to place restrictions on the size of your family too

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Response to TeamPooka (Reply #14)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 02:49 PM

16. if it means having twenty people living in one room, then the city should have a say

 

now mayby the city should help with extra housing but without some sort of zoning and controls would you want to live there.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 04:25 PM

5. Where I live, the mayor and most city council people are realtors.

And you bet your ass they pass stuff like this all the time.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 04:28 PM

6. Boston does something like that

They couldn't explicitly keep students from renting certain apartments, so to get the same effect they said "non-related people" can't rent apartments together in certain parts of town.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 04:32 PM

7. FYI, it's a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath, 1100 sq. foot house. Per Zillow.


Our city (like many others) has limits on how many unrelated people can live in a home, but I think it's more than four.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 12:27 PM

9. That's what I

thought the ordinance stated in Watertown, no more than 4 unrelated so these people were not in violation to begin with. I heard they took that particular sentence out of the ordinance, leaving it to mean you have to be related I guess. I know a 2 bed seems cramped for 4 people, the two roommates would have to share the second bedroom while the couple takes the master, but times are tough. A lot of people have to have roommates to help cover their mortgage/rent and that's exactly why the owner of the home has his fiancée and 2 roommates there. I'd rather share a small two bedroom house with 3 other people than be homeless. I grew up not far from Watertown, it's not exactly the most prosperous city out there.

But this also begs the question - what about gay couples who are not married? They wouldn't be considered "related". What if you only had one roommate in a two bed? As it stands it seems like none of those are acceptable.

It seems ridiculous to me - I keep thinking I'm missing something here. Can anyone fill the blanks for me?

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Response to OwnedByCats (Reply #9)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 12:41 PM

11. The basement, if there is one, may be finished.

One of them may be sleeping there. If there are finished rooms in the cellar, those often aren't counted in the "official" number of bedrooms. Similarly, a finished attic room may not be counted.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #11)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 03:19 PM

17. It's just a one story ranch, no basement. n/t

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 12:29 PM

10. Obviously a whorehouse.

That's what most of these ordinances were intended to prevent.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #10)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 02:35 PM

13. Or a convent :)

There were a lot of these ordinances enacted in the 60s to prevent hippie communes, or groups of students from finding cheap housing. A college town I lived in had an ordinance that limited the number of sexes that could occupy a dwelling to the number of bathrooms in the dwelling.

There have been cases where religious communities were ousted because of this kind of zoning rule. You know how nuns are with their wild praying!

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Response to Retrograde (Reply #13)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 02:42 PM

15. Not to mention how they lower the adjoining property values.

And all those Habits on the clothes lines. Ewww.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 02:26 PM

12. "Land of the and home of the brave." nt

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