With the meeting room filled with CSU students, many began to line up behind the public microphones to take on both the City Council and Fort Collins residents. Although students opposed the ordinance that will enforce the "three-unrelated rule" in zoned areas, their requests failed.
Last night, City Council voted to pass an ordinance requiring the "three-unrelated rule" to become more strictly enforced, except for boarding houses in specifically zoned areas.
"Yes, we're saying that there is room for families and those related, but there is no room for those unrelated," said City Councilman Kurt Kastein, District 2. "We are enforcing the 'three-unrelated rule' except in zoned boarding houses."
The Ordinances also establish parking rules for landlords owning boarding houses, requiring a certain amount of parking space as well as a parking set-up for the tenants.
Happy the ordinance passed, Bob Lawrence, Fort Collins resident, reminded City Council members of the 14th amendment prior to their decisions.
"No state…shall deny to any person within is jurisdiction the equal protection of laws," Lawrence read. "Business owners in their home are required to register. Landlords should be required to register. Everyone should be treated equally."
The question recently posed is not whether to establish the "three-unrelated rule," as the ordinance has long been in action, but rather to make possible amendments and charge a registration fee to landlords. The passed Ordinance 123 would make various amendments to the Land Use Code Relating to Residential Occupancy Limits. Ordinance 124 would cause an alteration to Chapter 5, Article VI of the City Code Relating to Rental Housing, but have two choices deciding whether to withhold registration (Option A) or require registration (Option B).
While CSU students opposed existing rule prohibiting more than three unrelated living under one roof, landlords concern lies with the registration fee and process that Option B could require.
"It makes sense to register guns and vehicles, but it does not make sense to register houses and tenants," said JJ Henville, a Fort Collins landlord.
Many students, low-income families and landlords alike feel that the ordinance is discriminatory towards their demographics.
"I have a lot of sympathy for those who are too poor to actually own a house, because I use to be one," said Fort Collins landlord Anna Burton.