The battle between student renters and local homeowners over the three-unrelated rule has raged since the ordinance’s conception. And while the issue has been hotly debated, it has remained stagnant for some time.
Now the Fort Collins City Council is considering a change that would make violations of the ordinance a civil, not criminal, crime. This would make it easier to prove and punish ordinance violations. It would also almost certainly mean increased enforcement of a rule that hundreds of students and landlords have contentedly violated for years. But none of these actions will actually solve the real problem.
The true aim of the ordinance is to improve situations that often arise when groups of friends live together: unkempt lawns, parking issues, noise violations and run-down property. These are the problems that City Council should be finding solutions for rather than trying to fix an ordinance has been largely ineffective.
Sometimes it is better to reinvent the wheel.
An ordinance that covertly targets student renters and puts limitations on their lifestyle has clearly not helped the situation. Instead, policymakers should look for a solution that really solves the problem and will be satisfactory to both parties who have a stake in this issue.