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.