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Thread: Housing Issues

  1. #1

    Housing Issues

    We are experiencing some problems with the number of people living in a dwelling unit, mainly immigrant labor. The problem with our ordinance is that the definition of family is very vague not to mention it is very very difficult to determine true family status of immigrant labor. How have some of you addressed this issue without interferring with a true family? Also, if anyone has a good definition of family I would like to see it.


  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Feb 1998
    Greensburg, Kansas
    This is a problem everywhere there are recent immigrants. We have even toyed with the concept of "full time equivalent" occupants where shift work begets occupants in shifts.

    Check your state statutes. Sometimes the term is defined, either through zoning enabling legislation or statutes on group homes. There is probably state case law on the topic--in the far reaches of my memory, I recall one from GA.

    But then there is the U.S. Supreme Court in City of Edmonds v. Oxford House, Inc. (I don't have the citation, decided May 1995). The court basically ruled that occupancy limits should be based on building size rather than an arbitrary number from local zoning.

    We don't define family anymore. Overcrowded seems best to fit into a housing code. Seven cars all over the front yard is another issue.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the info. We are trying to decide whether to address it via the definition of family (zoning) or floor area (building code). Regardless, I am intested in case law so that I know the standard will hold.

    We are also dealing with the front yard parking issue at the same time!

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