City Outlaws Roommates

Last week, city council members in Watertown, New York, which is 70 miles north of Syracuse, voted 3-2 to outlaw roommates.

Via Your News Now:

A woman living on Thompson Boulevard in the city brought concerns to the council because she said her [next-door] neighbor was living with his fiancé and two other roommates and didn't want to see it become a regular thing. Three lawmakers agreed.

…"Fundamentally, I think it's wrong that we put these kinds of procedures and policies in place. Really all we're doing is hurting the people who live in this community," said Watertown City Councilwoman Teresa Macaluso.

Macaluso says in these tough times, a roommate could be needed to keep someone from losing a home, there are soldiers who need roommates and also same-sex couples would be harmed.

Previously, the city allowed up to four roommates in neighborhoods zoned for single-family homes. The change reduces that number to zero.

From the Watertown Daily Times:

During a public hearing before the vote, Mr. Hartman tried to convince council members that he invited his friends to live with him because he had just purchased the house last February and needed some help because he “was just starting out.”

“All I’m trying to do is live a normal life, a quiet life,” he said.

But the three council members who supported the change said the city had to make sure that the characteristic of Residential A zones are protected. Other zoned districts allow for such arrangements, they said.

[The neighbor who complained] gathered 80 signatures on a petition requesting that unrelated people not be allowed to live in a single-family house in a district zoned Residential A.

The Planning Department has decided to grandfather in the roommates in question, but presumably everyone else will need to start coughing up their marriage licenses if they want to stay in their homes.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Oh for the good old days when blue laws were fresh and new and to deter houses of prostitution.

  • Timrek||

    Well, that's over 80 people in Watertown who aren't going to be invited to any wild swinger orgies.

  • sarcasmic||

    Come and knock on our door.....
    We've been waiting for you......
    Where the kisses are hers and hers and his,
    Three's company too.

    Come and dance on on our floor......
    Take a step that is new.....
    We've a loveable space that needs your face,
    Three's company too.

    You'll see that life is a frolic and laughter is calling for you......
    Down at our rendez-vous,
    Three's company, too!!!!!!

  • Rich||

    everyone else will need to start coughing up their marriage licenses if they want to stay in their homes.

    And so the push to legalize polygamy begins in earnest.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    But remember, the yokeltarians keep telling us that same-sex marriage shouldn't matter to libertarians because same-sex couples are in no way legally disadvantaged relative to opposite-sex couples.

  • robc||

    Bad laws dont justify bad laws.

  • Brandon||

    Libertarians don't want to make one particular arrangement legally privileged. Freedom of association applies just as much to hetero roommates as it does to hot lesbian couples. This law violates freedom of association, and will be struck down by the first court that hears a suit against it. And since New York recognizes same-sex marriage, this does not handicap homosexuals more than straight people in the slightest. You would realize that if you could think rather than emote.

  • ||

    Stormy carries his +2 Axe of Perpetual Dullness close to his breast.

  • robc||

    Ended up going by looping around block and buying beer and Quiznos. Im drinking a Torpedo.

    I have two low hops beers on tap at my house and the hops were calling my name.

  • ||

    Sounds 'lish! Priatnogo apetita!

  • ||

    ahhhhhhhh

    Pretty sure that opposite sex couples who don't wish to marry (like me!) will also be harmed.

  • $park¥||

    A woman living on Thompson Boulevard in the city brought concerns to the council because she said her [next-door] neighbor was living with his fiancé and two other roommates and didn't want to see it become a regular thing.

    Seriously? Is there anything worse than a fucking asshole busybody?

  • sarcasmic||

    One thing I like about the town where I live.

    At a recent town meeting some lady complained to the town council that people shooting off recently made legal fireworks were scaring her poor kitty cat.

    Someone suggested earmuffs.

  • ||

    Hattie: I own one share of Planet kajiggers so I'm entitled to some answers. Question 1: Why does no one visit me in my home?

    Farnsworth: 'Cause your apartment smells like Polygrip and cat pee.

  • stop telling lies||

    Kittycat earmuffs are expensive and are not a great fashion accessory when fireworks are going off.

  • Brandon||

    Maybe the worst part is that they grandfathered in the roommates she was complaining about. So absolutely nobody was happy with the result, even though the city council is patting themselves on the back for DOING SOMETHING. IOW, a typical government result.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If any and all trees outside this woman's house are not TP'ed during the next week, I will have lost a lot of respect for Watertown.

    It was the hub of the food algae trade in the Car Wars video game.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Well as long as they open up some nice work camps for all the now-illicit roomates to go to, I'm all for it.

  • WTF||

    "If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."

  • John||

    Watertown is where Fort Drum is. This strikes me as another example of townies fucking soldiers.

  • robc||

    Usually the soldiers are good with that.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    But have you seen the Watertown townies?

  • Zeb||

    That's not them in the picture?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Those are some of the other people the townies are fucking.

  • Drake||

    John - I was thinking the same thing. They must want to keep the young soldiers on base.

    But the local landlords have no influence with the town council? That's certainly different from any mid-sized town I've lived in.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    It's not actually in the town, is it?

  • Free Society||

    I'll reside with whomever I god damn please. Fascism is the new liberalism.

  • Loki||

    [The neighbor who complained] gathered 80 signatures on a petition requesting that unrelated people not be allowed to live in a single-family house in a district zoned Residential A.

    The Planning Department has decided to grandfather in the roommates in question

    I think I'd sell my house and move anyway. I hate fucking busy bodies. Just mind your own fucking business you stupid harpy.

  • NoVAHockey||

    somewhat related to that point: http://tinyurl.com/bh3t9gm

    homeowners bankrupt the HOA by winning a lawsuit about the size of a campaign sign. somebody had a bug up his ass about a sign that was 4-inches to big. and now the HOA is kaput.

  • robc||

    I dont care that they were Obama-lovers, good for the couple for breaking the HOA.

  • some guy||

    This needs to happen more often.

    Didn't read the whole thing, but did the homeowners recoup their legal fees? What about the portion of their HOA fees that were used to prosecute themselves?

  • robc||

    The HOA was on the hook for about $100,000 to cover the Farrans’ legal fees

  • niobiumstudio||

    The HOA had to put up the "community" property for sale to cover the fees of the Farrans. The worst part is when the HOA complained, the Farrans cut the sign in half to make 2 separate, legal signs. The HOA didn't like that the Farrans "gamed them" and ex-post-facto changed the rules, held secret meetings, improperly fined them hundreds of dollars and improperly denied them permission to fix their roof and add a deck. So they lost when it went to court.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Archie Umphlett, one of the neighborhood’s oldest residents, put it this way: “When it comes to the [couple with the sign], it’s their way or the highway.”

    That's right, the couple who wanted to keep a sign on their own property are the ones who are "their way or the highway", not the people telling their neighbors to take down a sign or face fees and an inability to execute home improvement projects.

  • tarran||

    It's the progressive way:

    Not taking = giving.
    Not submitting = oppressing
    Coveting = being community minded.

  • sarcasmic||

    Libertarians want to stop people in government from initiating force against citizens. Non-aggression and all that.
    How do you stop people from initiating force except by using force?
    Thus libertarians would use force against multitudes of government agents who depend upon initiating force against citizens for their livelihood.

    This makes libertarians tyrants because they would use force against so many people.

  • Professional Target||

    Tyrants initiate the use of force. I advocate Rule .308, which is to respond to that force from outside their effective range.
    Then again, I'm not exactly a libertarian.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    T o n y?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Meh, not a big fan of HOAs, but on the other hand, they new about it when they moved in an agreed to a contract, so it's hard for me to feel bad when they decide later they don't like what they voluntarily agreed to.

  • tarran||

    Stormy, I think the totality of their victory over the HOA arose from the fact that the HOA violated the contract egregiously.

    The contract they signed didn't allow the fines the HOA attempted to collect; the secret meeting violated the process by which improvements were to be considered; the split signage did comply with the HOA rules etc.

    The HOA leadership clearly chose death in a banzai charge to the humiliation of a negotiated surrender.

  • robc||

    Considering it took over 4 years, that means the residents kept voting the emperor president back in.

  • robc||

    And to continue the analogy, like the good democrats they were, the couple chose the nuclear option.

    And like the Japanese, it took two.

  • Almanian!||

    Pretty much everyone in our 'hood just ignores the HOA now - but we've been unsuccessful in getting is eliminated.

    Pretty sure it's cause, "well, yeah it's useless and we all ignore it and no one pays dues and...but SOMALIA!!!11!"

    We're thinking one more move - out west, on about 80 acres, smack dab in the middle of if so we don't even know if we hav neighbors.

    God, I hate people...

  • Professional Target||

    I think I'd sell my house and move anyway.

    Nah. I tame my busybody neighbors and/or drive them away.
    The Master Gardener who moved in next door 10 years ago complained to the HOA about how I wasn't maintaining my yard. The covenants specify that ground cover had to be maintained, but not what kind. After tilling my yard, I went to Southern States and bought 50 pounds of white clover seed. That's enough to spread my half acre lot 12 weekends in a row, which I did. He moved.

  • Rich||

    That's great, PT. I had a similar situation with "cultivated vegetation". I love jerking officious clowns around with the letter of their laws.

  • ||

    I try to maintain my yard, mowing weekly, trimming every other, and have a small garden in the front that I keep up regularly. My neighbors across the street tend not to do much at all, letting grass grow tall and their mailbox looks like it's about to fall over if the wind picks up. I look across and smile instead of frown, reminding myself every day it is worth it to not have an HOA.

  • R C Dean||

    I love jerking officious clowns around with the letter of their laws.

    Its a living, that's for sure.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    The neighbor who complained] gathered 80 signatures on a petition requesting that unrelated people not be allowed to live in a single-family house in a district zoned Residential A.

    I wonder how they define "unrelated" and whether they have a HOA to bankrupt.

  • ||

    Cue the increase in gay/straight marriages of convenience; Watertown will then have to create a "Marriage Verification Inspector" to make sure that "married" people are actually fuckin'.

  • John||

    Maybe they can make a comedy about it. Maybe star Kevin James and Adam Sandler.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    For real-it could be a way for Hollywood to address this issue in a tasteful...never mind.

  • ||

    As cringeworthy as most of your posts are John, sometimes you post some really funny shit. This made me laugh.

  • John||

    Since by "cringeworthy" you mean "an argument I don't like but don't really have a response to", I will take that entire post as compliment.

  • $park¥||

    I find your lack of humor disturbing.

  • sarcasmic||

    Red Tony! Go! Go! Red Tony!

  • some guy||

    Ok, so for starters is this kind of zoning constitutional?

    Second, how are they going to enforce this?
    Cops show up: "So it looks like you've got a roommate there."
    "No, sir, officer. That's just my friend. We're hanging out."
    Cop: "He's here, like, all the time. Even at 5AM."
    "We're good friends and we hang out at odd hours because of our weird work schedules."
    Cop: "He gets mail here."
    "Yeah, that's strange. We've been trying to fix that, but you know how the post office is. Why have you been going through my mail?"
    Cop: "....Stop resisting!"

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Part of me died while reading this. It was funny, but I could see this actually happening.

  • Almanian!||

    ^^this^^

    "John Q. Public was jailed for 90 days and fined $5000 for violating the city's 'Roommate' ordinance. A multi-jurisdictional crime unit has reported a 10,000% increase in such incidents in the past year, and has requested funding for a Tactical Armored Neighborhood Tracked (TANK) vehicle to fight the scourge."

  • Brandon||

    Doesn't that spell "TANT?"

  • Loki||

    Work in an "I" word between Armored and Neighborhood and it would be perfect.

  • ||

    Inter-Neighborhood or Intra-Neighborhood

  • Almanian!||

    ?? What the FUCK was I thinking?

    Oh, I wasn't.

    That's even funnier! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • Brandon||

    Tactical Armored Neighborhood tracKed vehicle?

  • robc||

    A friend of mine was moving to town for a job and was going to stay with me for a week or two until he found an apartment (this was November of 2001). He had mail forwarding set up to my condo. However, he found an apartment before moving in with me, so he never lived with me. He moved the mail forwarding.

    Everything followed him EXCEPT the damn scientology stuff whose mailing list he had ended up on somehow (he had moved from CA, so that had something to do with it, also, apparently he feigned interest with them for the lulz at some point). Fortunately, that eventually died off (maybe they found him) and didnt follow me when I moved.

  • ||

    This tickles me because I know a Watertown cop

  • Ted S.||

    More or less bad than Dunphy?

  • R C Dean||

    Cop: "....Stop resisting!"

    You left out the sizzle of the tazer and the wet pop of joints being dislocated.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Used to drive through Watertown on my way back to my parents' from grad school.

    Macaluso says in these tough times, a roommate could be needed to keep someone from losing a home, there are soldiers who need roommates and also same-sex couples would be harmed.

    Or perhaps, like me, they simply prefer to live with other people than to being alone all the time. Just like gun control, we aren't required to demonstrate a "need" as to why we should be able to do something.

  • some guy||

    Hey. You want to live with a room mate go live in the shitty apartments on the other side of town. You have no right to infringe on my right to live in a cookie-cutter neighborhood full of boring people I never talk to.

  • ||

    AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    That is all.

  • Almanian!||

    Also, I have it on good authority that Sandi took a whit in Watertown, once.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Don't you see? First it's roommates, then it's pig farms, and then before you know it, it's iron smelters and fireworks factories!

    THIS IS WHY WE NEED SINGLE USE ZONING!!!111!111!111

  • ||

    Pig farm, you say?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    homeowners bankrupt the HOA by winning a lawsuit about the size of a campaign sign. somebody had a bug up his ass about a sign that was 4-inches to big. and now the HOA is kaput.

    Eeeeeeeeexxxcellent.

  • wakeup||

    Who are the girls in the picture, and where do I find the video?

  • ||

    Just Google "Two Girls, Three Chinese Takeout Boxes"

  • robc||

    Tried that. From gis, this was the most interesting thing:

    Its safe for work. Probably.

    http://images.halloweencostume.....e-zoom.jpg

  • robc||

    I know Rule 34 and all, but that was a fetish I didnt know existed.

  • ||

    Goddamn, that's a cute costume. Totally inappropriate to wear in overly- politically-correct company, but...

  • robc||

    Your Halloween 2013 problem has been solved. You are welcome.

  • SugarFree||

    It must be some much fun to live in a stock photo universe. You laugh and laugh and never get old.

  • ||

    I've often said I wished I lived in commercials. All your problems are solved withing 30 seconds.

  • ||

    Who are the girls in the picture, and where do I find the video?

    I'm betting it ends in an underwear clad pillow fight.

    *oh please, oh please, oh please

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