City council didn’t listen. Not to the Collegian, not to students and not to those in opposition to the Three Unrelated, or U+2, ordinance.
In a controversial council meeting Tuesday night, a 5-2 vote effectively made the situation exponentially worse for students shacking up with more than two unrelated people, which many do to save money.
Now, occupants and the landlord of a property found to be in violation are not given time to correct the violation and avoid major fines. Before, they were given seven days.
Because these students are breaking the law, those in excess of the three unrelated occupants must leave the residence and everyone in the house plus the landlord can be fined $1,000 each.
City council has effectively sharpened the end of the thorn in students’ sides that is U+2.
While opponents, including 10 students, nine of which were members of student government, voiced their opposition to the change at the meeting, their recommendations were ignored.
This sets a dangerous precedent going into the fall when the larger issue of how to holistically change the ordinance (hopefully by removing it) will take place.
If city council isn’t listening now, what will those discussions look like?
The council believes students are a transient population because many of us are here for only four years at a time.
The fact is we’ve been a major part of the Fort Collins community since 1870. Student interests remain largely the same year to year and 139 years of residency is nothing to scoff at.
Open your ears, council, and stop ignoring student needs.