To the editor:
It was interesting (also depressing) to see that the new Tenants to Homeowners project in East Lawrence has been given "a unique opportunity for neighbors to know what type of housing would be on the site for years to come. Tenants to Homeowners is placing conditions on the property that will ensure that it is never used for rental property" (Journal-World, Aug. 7).
I commend Tenants to Homeowners for their wisdom and foresight but have to wonder why those of us who are long-established as homeowners have been so long ignored in our pleas to give us relief from the debilitating incursion of "rental property" into our once-stable neighborhoods. If those 10 lots can be protected and if the need for such protection is so apparent, why has the city (commission, staff, planning commission) failed to respond meaningfully to us unsubsidized homeowners?
What do I have in mind as appropriate responses by the city? Well, for starters:
l A definition of "family" that is not a mockery - "no more than three unrelated persons" indeed!
l Enforcement of existing codes (and of improved ones).
l An owner-occupied overlay zoning district.
One of the chief functions of zoning being to provide assurance of future land use to nearby landowners, in a city with a brand new zoning ordinance, it should be a source of embarrassment to "planners" that someone finds it necessary to devise independent measures to ensure that neighbors will know (unique in all the city) "what type of housing would be on the site."