Local News

Forum Held To Discuss Limiting Number Of Roommates In Raleigh Rental Homes

Posted January 9, 2003 8:53 a.m. EST

— Some Raleigh residents say more than two unrelated people living in a house is a crowd. The city of Raleigh is considering a plan to confront the problem.

A public forum was held Wednesday to get feedback on whether the city should pass an occupancy ordinance limiting the number of unrelated people living together in single-family homes and duplexes to two, down from four.

A group of Raleigh homeowners said they are worried about the number of homes being turned into crowded rentals.

"These people are just renting a house. They are not being a part of the neighborhood, which I like my neighbors to be," homeowner Pat Wells said.

"The traffic, the noise, the multiple cars parked in yards and driveways. Front yards [are] being turned into parking lots to handle the multitude of cars," homeowner Elizabeth Byrd said.

According to the 2000 Census, more than 3,000 Raleigh households are made up of at least three unrelated people. Some landlords, who rent property to college students, claim they are being targeted by the proposed ordinance.

"When you are sharing a place to live with more people, you are saving more money, so it is an economy thing," landlord Cary Squires said. "So what do you do? Do you kick those people out? I say no."

"Splitting the bills four ways is a lot easier than say, two," said Scott Smith, a student at North Carolina State University.

The ordinance would only apply to single-family homes and duplexes -- not apartments -- and would grandfather in property owners already renting to more than two people, but they would have to register with the city.

The city will hold two other forums to discuss the issue.

A public hearing on the proposed ordinance will be held Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Raleigh City Council chambers.