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The Rage On Zoning Ordinances Essay

1238 words - 5 pages

Today, many communities are at war over zoning ordinances that do not limit the number of related people living in a single home, but do limit the number of non-related people from living in a single family home. Most the communities that are at war are in neighborhoods where there is a local University or College. This "war" has come down to two sides: the residents verses the students. "Many homeowners in single-family neighborhoods are witnessing their quiet, homey neighborhoods deteriorate into a morass of cars, trash, noise and neglect as single-family homes are gradually sold into the rental market and then abused by tenants where too many occupants are living in one house with too little care"(The Tribune Editorial Board). However, most people who are for the zoning ordinances do not realize that this ordinance also affects elderly people who require living assistants. Therefore, Lubbock City Council should revise current zoning ordinances that limit the number of non-related people living in a single-family home so that it is fair to each and every person because Lubbock's current zoning ordinances are unfairly citing people for being against the ordinance, causing many elderly people to go without needed assisted living, and it violates the Elliot-Larson Civil Rights Act of 1976 along with the Fair Housing Act's Housing discrimination.The city of Lubbock adopted a zoning code in 1975 after the Supreme Court upheld the definition of family in a 1974 lawsuit "Village of Belle Terre verses Bruce Borass." This definition is found in section 29-7, C1 of the Lubbock City Code and section 29-3, No. 45 of the Lubbock Zoning Ordinance state that a family should occupy single-family dwelling units. A family is defined as "One or more persons related by blood, adoption or marriage, or not more than two unrelated person living and cooking together as a single housekeeping unit." However, in Austin the definition of family is undefined and the maximum number of unrelated persons allowed per single-family unit may not exceed ten people. With an expanding population in both the community and Texas Tech University each day there are more people trying to make a living and keep a roof over his or her head and this has lead to many arguments against the ordinance. Texas Tech has a current student body of about 30,000 people and, along with Nebraska, is the only school in the Big Twelve that cannot have four non-related people in a four-bedroom house(Athens Fair Housing). Because Tech's tuition has increased about 21 percent since last spring alone, more students are in need of a "cheaper option" in housing and some students do this by adding more roommates to help pay rent. Some say that this ordinance is one that has been working for the last 25 years and should be left alone; however, there are also many who say that the Lubbock City Council should take a new look at an old ordinance because times have changed. This debating issue should not be swept...

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