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City commissioners start process to change occupancy standards for some single-family homes

February 5, 2013


Commissioners at their Tuesday evening meeting unanimously agreed to initiate a code revision that would change how many unrelated people could live in single-family homes in certain neighborhoods of the city.

The city agreed to send the proposed rule change to the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission for a full hearing. The item then would have to come back to the City Commission for final approval.

City commissioners deleted a portion of the proposal that would have changed the rules for duplex properties. The current proposal would allow no more than three unrelated adults to live in a single-family home, if they are located in various zoning districts.

That’s consistent with the regulations governing most single-family homes in the city. But there are a handful of zoning categories where single-family homes can house up to four unrelated adults. The zoning categories include the Planned Unit Development, Planned Residential Development, Planned Industrial Development, Planned Office Development, and Planned Commercial Development zoning categories in the city.

When the proposed rule changes included duplex properties, staff members estimated about 3,000 homes could be affected by the rule change. With the duplex properties no longer included in the proposed change, it wasn’t clear Tuesday how many properties may be affected.


Matthew Herbert 5 years, 3 months ago

This city really loves government intervention.

flyin_squirrel 5 years, 3 months ago

More rules, more regulations, more taxes, less services, and no KY jelly supplied. But on the bright side I now have an cheap ugly trash can (that i pay for) that matches my neighbors...

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 3 months ago

I can raise 19 kids under my roof that I can't afford to pay for and the government will subsidize my existence but if I move in with 3 of my friends to save money and live within my means the city will evict me.

been_there 5 years, 3 months ago

I have always thought it should be 4 unrelated people instead of three if space allowed. I have a very large 4 bedroom that I can only rent to 3 people. I have to keep the rent at $750 so they can afford the utilities. I have private parking for 5 cars. My house is one of the quietest on the block. Meanwhile across the street is a small house owned by a known slum lord that he got grandfathered in so he does not have to have it inspected. He has chopped it up into 4 units and gets $450 to $500 apiece. That is at least $1800 a month. It is a death trap and would never pass a licensing inspection. There are sometimes 10 people living there and they cause no end of trouble in the neighborhood and the city cannot/will not do anything. This is not fair. I also cannot rent out to an unmarried couple with more than one child. If they are doing some changing, they need to make it fair to all landlords.

It should not apply to all residential neighborhoods and not "certain neighborhoods" In other words, they are giving privileges to their developer buddies and giving the shaft to the smaller landlords.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 3 months ago

I assume that recovery homes and other service oriented houses will be exempt.

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