Tonight at City Council, after a further discussion on the recent zoning amendment that caused a stir still boiling today, I asked two ordinances be prepared for the next meeting. One to restore language recently deleted concerning renting to non family members in single family homes, and the other to amend the code's definition of family to make it a single declaration of people living as a single housekeeping unit.
My goal is to introduce the ordinances at the April 1 meeting and then have them referred to the Planning Board for a review based on what we have learned of late, including the statement by the Board chair that she no longer supported the original move to delete the words literally heard round the world.
The original action was in response to a constituent complaint about multiple residents living in a house on Thompson Boulevard who were not related. Renting out an extra bedroom had been considered an acceptable accessory use, but the unintended result of Council action was a furor over judging lifestyles and a naming of the action a "roommate law."
It wasn't, per se, but Council action struck a nerve, unleashing a wave of protest in social media and subjecting the constituent to all sorts of harassment.