At last night’s City Council meeting the council members (Terry Bornemann was absent) voted to not continue pursuit of changing the definition of family for the time being but to look at a host of related issues, six being offered by Jack Weiss. Today’s Herald carries an article on the meeting. Click here to read that article.
First of all, I would like to thank all of those who turned out to speak against changing the definition of family and who provided accounts of illegal rooming houses in their neighborhoods. Second, I would like to thank the council for listening. I am encouraged by the list of issues which the council is about to consider. Perhaps someone was secretly reading my blog. A city planner and other staff are to be working on these issues, to wit:
Decriminalization of parts of the
Changing, in some manner, the definition of family.
Enhancing enforcement of code violations (upgrade of Litter Control Officer position).
Upgrading the nuisance ordinances.
Beginning a dialogue with the new WWU administration under its new president.
All of these are laudable efforts, however, as always "the proof of the pudding is in the eating." This should not deteriorate into simple noodle pushing. Over the next several weeks I will write separately on these six topics.
On August 13th, this blog celebrates its first anniversary. To fete the occasion, I have reproduced below my first blog entry, which was initially sent as an email to all the candidates running for city office. It is as relevant today as it was then. Perhaps I will not have to wait until August 2009 to write the closing chapter.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Single Family Zoning is the Issue
The candidate for any city office who wants my vote will have to provide some concrete solutions to end this mess the City of
I have heard countless times that the current code is unenforceable as it is somehow "unconstitutional." My suspicion is that this mantra of "unenforceability" has been repeated so many times that the assumption is that it is, indeed, valid. Would that someone prove me wrong. Yet, I found after only 5 minutes on the web that Bloomington, IN; Allentown, PA; Lincoln, NE; Binghamton, NY; and Ann Arbor, MI, to name a few, have prevailed in court appeals on their definition as to the makeup of a single family for zoning purposes. If I found these references after only 5 minutes on the Internet, would it be too difficult for candidates to determine if their solutions would be applicable to
Additionally, which candidates will ask that
Which candidates will stop wringing their collective hands over the issue of the city enforcing its own laws? If candidates are convinced that the current code is unenforceable, will they have the courage to ask that the council remove it from the books so that city will not continue to play with the minds of the citizenry? If we then need something to replace the definition, which I assume must be done to preserve a basic description of "single family zoning", will candidates, once in office, compel the city's legal "experts" to do their homework and reach out to jurisdictions where zoning is a meaningful concept? This cannot remain in the too-hard-to-do column.