3-person rule discussed
October 9, 2007
__Student, city leaders meet to discuss the three-person rule__
Student leaders met with Williamsburg officials Thursday to discuss the city’s controversial zoning ordinance that prohibits more than three non-related people from residing in the same house.
p. Mayor Jeanne Zeidler said that although no decisions were made regarding the ordinance, those in attendance agreed that the matter should be discussed further. The mayor said she hopes to find understanding and to “move forward,” but she would not specify what moving forward constituted.
p. “We had a really good conversation,” she said in an interview Friday. “But there are no easy solutions to this.
p. Student Assembly President Zach Pilchen ’09 agreed with the mayor’s assessment but remained unsatisfied.
p. “The three-person-to-a-house rule, while simple and straightforward, isn’t an easy solution,” he said.
p. Discussion began when SA leaders presented the mayor with a plan that would effectively replace the three-person rule, leading to over an hour of debate on the issue.
p. Zeidler said that talks with previous SA administrations failed to make any progress. However, she went on to say that these talks were important. Pilchen said that while previous talks resulted in just “griping about the problem,” the current SA administration plans to take an active role in resolving this issue.
p. Among those who may attend future talks are students and residents who have been directly affected by the rule. Zeidler emphasized the importance of the presence of residents at any future meetings, as they may have “concerns that I haven’t thought about.”
p. When asked if any students who have been impacted by the rule will attend future meetings, Pilchen said that Matt Beato ’09, SA senate chairman, was at the meeting Thursday and was one of several students who have been evicted by the city. Beato did not respond to an e-mail request for comment.
p. Last January, 38 students were cited for violating the three-person rule. These students were asked to sign an agreement saying they would not violate the ordinance in the future and would seek different living arrangements at the end of the semester.
p. According to Pilchen, the SA will be conducting an open forum regarding the ordinance at some point this year. He said he hopes to resolve the controversy surrounding the rule before City Council elections in May.
p. “We have a road map now on how we wish to proceed,” Pilchen said.