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February 16, 2024

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Zoning laws under scrutiny

Mayor Quinn defended the actions of the city and zoning officials by stating that the majority of voters within the community believe that the laws should be present and ask that they be enforced.

“We have been asked for many years to do a better job of enforcing this law and that may be one reason there have been more citations this year than years in the past,” Quinn said.

Many off-campus students attended the meeting to voice their concerns with the laws.

The current zoning laws were created more than 30 years ago and no law regarding over occupancy has been changed since.

The law states that R-1 and R-2 zones are restricted to single families. A single family as defined by the law is no more than three unrelated adults occupying a residency.

Opposition arose among students when 32 individuals in nine houses were cited for violations in the Bentwood Subdivision.

Students argued that families do not live in that area even though it is an

R-2 zone of the city and high costs inhibit them from paying rent with just three incomes.

Many also said feel they are being targeted and argue that other residential areas were not searched.

“I definitely feel like I’m not part of the community and they are singling us out,” sophomore Carter Fanger said.

When President Ribeau took the floor, he joined the side of the students. He was interrupted by applause many times throughout his speech.

Ribeau said the students are the ones that are being affected by the recent enforcements.

“I’m fully aware and respectful to the fact that people want single family dwellings in their community and they should have that,” Ribeau said. “But in some of these areas they aren’t single family dwellings. Why are the students the ones that are singled out? How many residents did we go to and knock on the doors in the community?”

USG and Ribeau plan to continue working with officials to possibly create new zoning laws.

“We will do everything that we can do to constructively work with the city and the prosecutors office,” Ribeau said.

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