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Watertown, N.Y. bans roommates.

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posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 05:26 PM
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Watertown lawmakers vote in favor of limiting roommates


Watertown lawmakers vote in favor of limiting roommates

WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- Lawmakers in Watertown came to a decision that brings more questions than answers. Mainly, can government decide what is and what isn't a family?

By a vote of three to two, Watertown's City Council amended a law Monday night that dictates how many roommates a homeowner can have in a single family home in a residential neighborhood. The law used to allow four. Now, it's zero.

A woman living on Thompson Boulevard in the city brought concerns to the council because she said her neighbor was living with his fiancé and two other roommates and didn't want to see it become a regular thing. Three lawmakers agreed.
(visit the link for the full news article)

YNN legal expert questions Watertown roommate law


YNN legal expert questions Watertown roommate law

WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- "Certainly municipalities can do that. Landlords can do that. They can limit the number of people, but there is a limit on how much you can limit people living together."

Earlier this week, we gave our legal expert, Paul DerOhannesian, some time to look at Watertown's decision to no longer allow homeowners to have non-related roommates in a single family home in a residential neighborhood like Thompson Boulevard. He says he was surprised.

"One of the concerns in these types of laws is does it impact people based on their familial status. Familial status is something the law protects," He said. "You can't discriminate against somebody."

What is a family? Can the government make that final decision? Can it stop friends from buying a home? Can it say unmarried couples, straight or same-sex, can't live in a home together? And that's not mentioning the difficulties the economy presents for people who need help with the mortgage.
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 3/3/2013 by ThaLoccster because: fixt link




posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 05:30 PM
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reply to post by ThaLoccster
 


I know this is a fairly small town, but I live in a fairly small town as do the majority of Americans.

I also live with roommates.

If this law stands it could be copied in cities and towns across the U.S. and could have far reaching implications.

The same questions from the second article are ones I am asking. If this were passed in my town I would be forced to move, which unless I take a crap hole of a place is something I cannot afford at the moment. I could afford it if my girlfriend and myself moved in together, but would that be allowed? Would we be considered roommates?

What if we had a child, but were unmarried? Would they split up the family because we did not fit their definition of family?

I hope people in the region voice their concerns with this law, hopefully it will not spread to other areas.
edit on 3/3/2013 by ThaLoccster because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 05:34 PM
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I would tell these lawmakers to stick it! If you own your house and you are not breaking any laws such as over occupancy or living in unsafe conditions they should keep their noses the hell out of these peoples business! I hope this law comes back to bite them, and I also hope that someone challenges this "law" in court. This is just getting too crazy for words anymore.


It seems lately like it's a race between California and New York to see which one can become the bigger nanny state.
edit on 3/3/2013 by SpaDe_ because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 05:44 PM
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It seems that it would be safer for people to be room mates in a safer
neighbor hood than forcing single people to the worst part of town.

I do get the other side coming from Los Angeles as many of the illegals
will pile many people in a resident. One house we looked at & I'm not exaggerating,
this was a 2 bedroom home, once inside (as the front was presentable) there
were a couple of people living in a closet, then the same for another closet, many
in the 2 bedrooms, & on the back porch there were 2 sections for people, more in
the shed & garage. I had NEVER in me life seen anything like this & this was not
in S Central or East LA. We were shocked to say the least.
So I think these situations are what makes the room mate deal unfortunate.

And I agree it's not fair in many situations.
Also especially if you own the place unless in one of those gated communities
or condo places with rules...I don't see how there is any problem unless it's
like the above situation with 20 people...that aren't even suppose to be here...

Cheers
Ektar
edit on 3-3-2013 by Ektar because: Left something out...



posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 05:48 PM
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This is old news, but how would they police this? Insanity. I’d certainly be telling them where to go and how to get there...



posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 06:01 PM
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That is completely crazy, it would be hard to enforce and what about girlfriend / boyfriend situations? Also, Ft. Drum is close by to Watertown and I would imagine that there are a lot of transient people that live up there as well. I can see restricting the number of roommates to 1-2 but zero?! I can't believe anyone would vote in favor of something like this.

Here is the link since I didn't see one above:

Watertown lawmakers vote in favor of limiting roomates



posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 06:05 PM
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My guess is this law is more geared towards illegal immigrants. My town in NJ which is very small 10k but we have an estimated 2K illegal immigrants. Our town council passed a law on how many tenants can be at any particular residence & the town does do inspections.

Many NJ town shore towns conduct rental inspections to see how many people are at any particular location - well they used to most of it is now trashed.

edit on 3-3-2013 by BABYBULL24 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 06:09 PM
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There has been a long running trend to introduce law just so we can be made to be criminals, trying to run that old guilt trip on our minds. And then issue a penalty fine (a penal debt issued to slaves in past times, oh wait I mean current times), either pay or face time in prison which will occur further life hardships.

This kind of thing is ruining the respect we used to have for politicians. Honour and great noble deeds are a mystery to mordern politics. SNAFU.



posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 06:12 PM
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Don't worry they will change the law so you pay a tax for the extra people and regester who they are. Just be sure to ask who pays the taxes on said house because if you can't live in it there is no value



posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 06:26 PM
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Originally posted by BABYBULL24
My guess is this law is more geared towards illegal immigrants. My town in NJ which is very small 10k but we have an estimated 2K illegal immigrants. Our town council passed a law on how many tenants can be at any particular residence & the town does do inspections.

Many NJ town shore towns conduct rental inspections to see how many people are at any particular location - well they used to most of it is now trashed.

edit on 3-3-2013 by BABYBULL24 because: (no reason given)


I don't believe so.

Almost every city and town has occupancy laws or restrictions. Those are designed to limit the amount of people who can live in a home, dependant on it's size.

This law says you can have no roommates, not X amount.

Here is the New York occupancy code:

2006 New York Code - Maximum Permitted Occupancy.

§ 27-2075 Maximum permitted occupancy. a. No dwelling unit shall be
occupied by a greater number of persons than is permitted by this
section.
(1) Every person occupying an apartment in a class A or class B
multiple dwelling or in a tenant-occupied apartment in a one- or
two-family dwelling shall have a livable area of not less than eighty
square feet. The maximum number of persons who may occupy any such
apartment shall be determined by dividing the total livable floor area
of the apartment by eighty square feet. For every two persons who may
lawfully occupy an apartment, one child under four may also reside
therein, except that a child under four is permitted in an apartment
lawfully occupied by one person. No residual floor area of less than
eighty square feet shall be counted in determining the maximum permitted
occupancy for such apartment. The floor area of a kitchen or kitchenette
shall be included in measuring the total liveable floor area of an
apartment but the floor area for private halls, foyers, bathrooms or
water closets shall be excluded.
(2) A living room in a rooming unit may be occupied by not more than
two persons if it has a minimum floor area not less than one hundred ten
square feet in a rooming house, or one hundred thirty square feet in a
single room occupancy.



posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 06:30 PM
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Originally posted by BlindBastards
This is old news, but how would they police this? Insanity. I’d certainly be telling them where to go and how to get there...


The way of the future.

Your neighbors will enforce it. Under the guise of terrorism they are watching you.



posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 06:31 PM
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Originally posted by SpaDe_
I would tell these lawmakers to stick it! If you own your house and you are not breaking any laws such as over occupancy or living in unsafe conditions they should keep their noses the hell out of these peoples business! I hope this law comes back to bite them, and I also hope that someone challenges this "law" in court. This is just getting too crazy for words anymore.


It seems lately like it's a race between California and New York to see which one can become the bigger nanny state.
edit on 3/3/2013 by SpaDe_ because: (no reason given)


I agree. I would also have to guess the population and demographics of this town are far different than mine, or there is no way this could hold.

I don't want to throw any made up statistics out there, but there are a ton of people in my town who live with roommates.

On my block, including my house, there are 3 houses occupied by roommates.

I work with 60 people, not including myself 10 of those reside with roommates.

This does not take into consideration cohabitation. If this law applies to unmarried couples living together, the number of "roommates" increases exponetially.

The target in my opinion, would be gay couples.

Most states do not allow their marriage. If more towns ban roommates, they would also not be allowed to reside together. Maybe Russia will follow in Watertown's footsteps.



posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 06:41 PM
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Originally posted by BlindBastards
This is old news, but how would they police this? Insanity. I’d certainly be telling them where to go and how to get there...


Well, that is the easy part.

With police cruisers equipped with license plate scanners and drones flying overhead, it won't be to hard to track people, identify people, or determine their addresses/place of residence.



posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 02:36 AM
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The "target" (as so many have put it) isn't any particular demographic of people, but rather a perceived preservation of property values. HOAs put these kinds of restrictions in their CCRs all the time, but it's rare that municipalities do it anymore.* The theory is that renters, who typically don't take care of the property as well as the owners, tend to have sub-leased roommates (and in many cases lots of them). They get rid of the renters by eliminating the roommates, without whom the renter couldn't afford to live there in the first place. It's all economics.

* As an aside, and I'm not sure if it's still on the books or not, but the city of Tempe, AZ (near my home town) has an ordinance that limits the number of unrelated female occupants of a residence to 6. They were afraid that, with any more than the arbitrary 6, they'd have a house of ill-fame on their hands. Apparently the ordinance never applied to Manzanita Hall ("15 Floors of Whores", or something like that) or any number of other Arizona State dormitories that have similar reputations.



posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 08:55 PM
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This is one way to fight the stupid illegals. They are animals and regularly live 30 to a house.



posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 08:58 PM
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4 people in a house ?

oh the humanity !!!!

crazy over-reach here just crazy



posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 09:08 PM
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Watertown is home to a very large army base called Fort Drum. Who wants to live in the barracks? I get it. I was stationed in the A.F. not far from there. Imagine a bunch of young drinking army personnel shacked up in one place? It makes perfect sense to me.



posted on Mar, 5 2013 @ 08:40 PM
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reply to post by Make Speed Limit 45
 


reply to post by SinMaker
 

Nobody complained about houses full of illegal immigrants, Mexicans, or drunk military personnel.

The woman complained about a couple and 2 roommates.



posted on Mar, 5 2013 @ 08:48 PM
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Granted, I am seeing a small part of the story, but "a woman" with a concern just went and forced a decision to be made for the entire town?

Roommate is in "paying" or as in just living? And what, do people have to go to get "permission" from people they don't know, nor care for, to do as the please? Oh, wait, there is nothing the State doesn't control, nothing, this is just a subsection of the "State owns you" world we live in.





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