Apr 152009
 
Authors: Matt Minich

With the review of the controversial three-unrelated housing ordinance looming, students with opinions on the mandate will be given an opportunity to speak out to city staff from 4 to 6 p.m. this afternoon in room 228 of the Lory Student Center./

The three-unrelated ordinance, commonly known as U + 2, states that “two adults and their dependents, if any, and not more than one additional person” can live in a home in Fort Collins./For students not living with family members, this means homes and apartments can only be rented out in student groups of three or less.

Renters found in violation of the ordinance are subject to a fine of up to $1,000. Strict enforcement of U+2 began in 2007, with 65 percent of the 203 received complaints verified by the city as legitimate offenders.

The input from today’s forum will be collected in hopes of representing the student voice of Fort Collins when the October 27 review of the ordinance arrives, said Beth Sowder, neighborhood services manager for the city.

No personal information will be taken from students — the forum is entirely anonymous./ Students with strong opinions, including those who are currently violating the ordinance, are encouraged to attend./

Sowder said the purpose of the forum was not to find students who were in violation but to get honest feedback from the student community./

“We want to make it so that students feel comfortable,” she said./

The ordinance was a hot topic in this year’s city elections, with election winners from Districts 1, 3 and 5 and Mayor Doug Hutchinson unanimously agreeing that U+2 requires review and possible revision.

Many students have said they feel the ordinance is unfair to students.

“I think (the ordinance) is masked,” said Lindsey McKee, a sophomore business major and student government director of Academics.

“It seems like it doesn’t, but it does target students,” she said, explaining that she thinks it makes it more difficult for renters to live with the people they want to live with.

Sowder will be attending the meeting along with housing inspector Derf Green, neighborhood building services director Felix Lee and community liaison Melissa Emerson./

The meeting is hosted by the Associated Students of CSU.

City council beat writer Matt Minich can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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