Candidate Gray responds on 7/26
Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns regarding this thorny issue, and for your service to our community in the various capacities in which you generously volunteer your time.
I understand and share your concerns. I am personally affected in my own neighborhood by the very issue you address. Indeed the home I purchased, and now occupy, was previously rented to seven college students. When my wife and I purchased the home, the neighbors were very relieved to see an actual family moving into the home.
In a related issue, while the general idea of accessory dwelling units might not have been a bad one in principle, there is no doubt that it is being abused and the city needs to do something about it. Single family zoning means just that, and it is unacceptable for the exception to become the rule, as it is apparently doing in some areas of our city.
To start to get to solutions, as you are calling for, first, I support a full legal review of our enforcement options. I share your skepticism regarding the claims of constitutionality and enforceability, but I also recognize that there are issues of privacy and "a man's home is his castle" that we have to examine carefully in order to develop an enforcement policy that will comply with the state and federal constitutions and laws.
In addition, we need to strengthen our neighborhoods by empowering residents and by updating the neighborhood plans, as many local neighborhoods are currently doing. Parking is a key issue in this regard and parking regulation can be an effective enforcement tool as well, if used properly.
I'm new to the local political process, and thus am still in the learning phase on this and many other issues. I look forward to receiving more input from you to assist me in developing effective solutions to the many problems we face.
Thank you again for sharing your concerns, and for your willingness to address challenging issues to keep our city in its finest form.
Damon J. Gray
Luckily you never had to experience living next door to the group of 7 who previously occupied your home. I would encourage you to talk further with your neighbors about their experience.