To the editor:
There is a better solution to unaffordable housing, which has eliminated many families from Lawrence, than subsidizing teacher's pay (who's next?)!
The Lawrence City Commission must change the ordinance that allows single-family zoned housing to be used for the "business" of rentals to allow only two unrelated people instead of three. These rentals are actually apartment houses by default. This ordinance causes single-family zoned houses to be more valuable for rentals, while deteriorating the quality of life for families and owner-occupancy.
A flawed zoning ordinance is responsible for the conversion of more than 4,000 single-family neighborhood zoned homes to the "business" of rentals. Included is over 50 percent of single-family zoned housing in central Lawrence. Unrelated renters in single-family zoned neighborhoods have NO children, which means no need for existing schools.
District 497 would have between 1,500 and 2,000 MORE elementary-age children if these 4,000-plus homes were owner-occupied homes, rather than rented to unrelated people with no children.
A limit of two unrelated renters per house (in single-family zone) would equalize the number of incomes competing for a home, thus permitting families to compete for rental (or purchase) of those houses.
Reducing unrelated renters to two, in single-family zones will create affordable housing, revitalize single-family neighborhoods and save schools and millions of taxpayer dollars.
Lawrence city commissioners and the board of education must recognize and work to solve this issue.