ASCSU to host U+2 forum

 Uncategorized
Sep 272009
 
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

Student government will host a forum to inform students of proposed changes to a controversial Fort Collins law that prohibits more than three unrelated people from living in the same home, today.

The forum, which will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Lory Student Center’s Grey Rock Room, will offer students a chance to provide feedback about proposed changes to the law, known as 3-Unrelated, or U + 2.

The changes include:

Changing 3-Unrelated to 4-Unrelated

Extra-occupancy rental availability

Extending the correction time from 7 to 30 days, and

Increasing education and enforcement of other peacekeeping ordinances.

In addition to the proposal from the Associated Students of CSU, Fort Collins city staff has compiled a series of options that will also be on the table, including:

Allowing as many tenants as legal bedrooms

Exemptions for couples living together with other tenets

Rental registration in low density zones of the city

Rental Licensing

“Hardship waivers” for low income residents requesting extra occupancy, and

No change to current ordinance.

Courtney Sullivan, community affairs director for ASCSU, said students will have a chance to pose questions to city staff members concerning the options and weigh the pros and cons of the ordinance before City Council casts its final vote October 27.

“Ultimately, what comes out of this roundtable will be presented to City Council,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan and her team have been working to foster changes to the ordinance and student government’s efforts are aimed to prompt “compromise” between students, homeowners and the city.

City Council Rep. Wade Troxell, District 4, who is an avid supporter of ASCSU’s campaign to change the rule, stressed the importance of student involvement in such discussions in an interview last week.

“I’m not only open to changes to the ordinance, I think they need to be made,” Troxell said.

Beth Sowder, the manager for Fort Collins Neighborhood Services, has been working closely with ASCSU during its campaign and said she will be at today’s roundtable to answer questions posed by students and explain the logistics of the ordinance.

She said the discussion surrounding the controversial measure is a complex one as a number of constituencies, including students and community residents, have stake in the issue.

“There is a good thing in exploring options, but we can’t just look at loosening the ordinance without looking at both sides of the argument.” Sowder said.

She said that while ASCSU’s proposals are thoughtful, she doesn’t think increasing the occupancy limit is realistic in some parts of the city, and the group should consider narrowing it down to areas that aren’t aiming to preserve the “single-family” lifestyle.

“It’s important to celebrate differences and learn to understand them, but clashes in lifestyle bring confrontation,” she said.

ASCSU Beat Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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