Aug 242009
 
Authors: Matt Minich

A private marketing research firm will present the results of its four-month study of the effects of 3-Unrelated, a city occupancy ordinance that prevents more than three unrelated people from living in one home, to the Fort Collins City Council tonight.

The company, Corona Research was hired by the city in January. Its report focused on the ordinance’s effects on the number of noise violations issued, rental costs and resident and student opinions of the ordinance, commonly known as U+2, said Ben Manvel, the city council representative for District 1.

The report results will be presented at city hall during a council work session, a full two months before the end of the ordinance’s cumulative two-year review on Oct. 27. At that time the council will discuss what, if any, changes should be made to the law.

Student government leaders strongly opposed to the ordinance said the law pushes students away from campus and discriminates against renters. Some worried too that the report as a whole will not address all of theissues surrounding the ordinance.

“I hope the council realizes that the report is very inconclusive,” said Courtney Sullivan, the Director of Community Affairs for the Associated Students of CSU.

In particular Sullivan said the correlation the council commonly draws between enforcement of U+2 and a decrease in noise citations, isn’t necessarily accurate. She said there are other factors that could contribute to the decrease the city has seen in the last couple years.

However, this report is not the only evaluation U+2 will undergo this year.

The report is only “one piece of the pie” when determining the future of the ordinance, said Beth Sowder, manager of Fort Collins Neighborhood Services.

Council members will conduct more public outreach in the coming months, Sowder said, including a round table discussion with CSU students in late September.

While all are welcome at the meeting tonight, no time will be provided for public comment as per the terms of the work session, which is considered a time for the council to review various issues.

Sullivan encouraged student presence at the work session, saying attendance could send the message that students want to participate in public debate about the ordinance.

Members of the public can attend the meeting at city hall, which begins at 6:30 p.m. and is scheduled to run until 10 p.m. The session will also broadcast live on Channel 14 and Fcgov.com.

Senior Reporter Matt Minich can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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