City council to discuss changes to controversial three-person rule

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November 7, 2008

3:24 AM

The controversial “three-person rule” is up for discussion.

The agenda for the upcoming Williamsburg City Council meeting includes a planned discussion of a proposal to amend a rule that has been debated and contested by the student body for years.

According to the current ordinance, no more than three unrelated people may live together in a Williamsburg dwelling.

A recent proposal, dated Oct. 6, was obtained by The Flat Hat and reported on last week. The proposed changes would allow up to four unrelated people to share a residence — with some conditions.

Residents would have to register their status as a four-person dwelling with the city, have enough parking spaces for four cars, and comply with all Virginia and municipal laws in regard to noise, litter, fire and building codes.

The rule became particularly controversial in 2007, when students at six different off-campus residences off-campus were asked to vacate their homes at the conclusion of the academic year in compliance with the ordinance.

Since then, the three-person rule has made its way into the discourse surrounding Student Assembly elections and City Council races.

In recent weeks, student leaders have been meeting with the City Council to discuss amending the rule.

According to student leaders, City Council members warned them that leaking any information regarding these discussions could conceivably hurt the amendment’s chances of passing.

“I support looking for more flexibility in the three-person rule, but we need more conversation,” Zeidler told The Flat Hat last week. “It’s just something we’re trying to work through.”

The City Council meeting will take place Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. at the Stryker Building.

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