Feb 022009
Authors: Madeline Novey

Review of the proposed changes to the city ordinance preventing more than three unrelated people from living together was rescheduled by the City Council Leadership Team Tuesday for May.

The change comes after senior management realized last Thursday the Planning and Zoning Board first had to provide its recommendation to the council on the ordinance commonly referred to as Three Unrelated, the Occupancy Limit or “U+2.”

“On Thursday, fairly late, senior management found out that (the ordinance) was supposed to go to the PZB,” said Kelly Ohlson, District 5 City Council member and Mayor Pro Tem, explaining that management then pulled it from tonight’s agenda.

Council members — including Mayor Doug Hutchinson, city lawyers and City Council management — questioned why the ordinance was struck from the agenda since it was on there for a “long time,” Ohlson said, adding that after discussion the ordinance was again added to the agenda.

Council Leadership leaders — decided in a meeting Monday that they would follow the established process and submit the ordinance first to the PZB for review.

District Four Council member Wade Troxell said, because both councilmen supported the ordinance, he is “suspect” Ohlson and Distric One Council member Ben Manvel may have played a role in pushing the review back until May.

“My opinion is (Ohlson and Manvil) are trying to slow-hold this issue until after their re-election in April,” Troxell said, noting that both councilmembers could lose the support of the student constituency.

Troxell said, “I think students are getting screwed,” noting that when the ordinance was first established in 2005, it was scheduled for review after two years, or in Jan. 2009, and “still hasn’t seen the light of day.”

In an e-mail sent by Director of Neighborhood & Building Services Felix Lee to Katie Freudenthal, ASCSU Director of Community Affairs and long-time opponent of the ordinance, Lee said, “As I understand it … the latest proposed language changes to the City Land Use Code regarding Occupancy Limits do not adequately address concerns of stakeholders, and additional public participation is sought for an equitable outcome.”

Lee could not be reached Monday for comment on the statement.

Freudenthal, who thought stakeholders as referred to by Lee might include realtors, said CSU students have an equal stake in the situation and was upset by the change in the review date.

“We are major stakeholders, and for (City Council) to move this to an inconvenient time for us is a big deal,” Freudenthal said noting that May 5 falls during the week before spring finals.

Ohlson too, encouraged students to take part in the discussion saying, “students are as much a part of Fort Collins as anyone else and should have a say in what happens here.”

Freudenthal and ASCSU associate senator Matt Worthington said they still plan to attend the City Council meeting tomorrow at 6 p.m. and will voice their concerns at the start of the meeting during a 30-minute public speech period.

“From our perspective what has changed? Nothing really,” Worthington said. “We had 30 minutes to discuss the issues that we have, and we still have (30 minutes) to discuss the issue.”

Assistant News Editor Madeline Novey can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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