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Letter: Stronger zoning enforcement needed

5:04 PM, Apr. 12, 2013  |  Comments
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I am writing to raise awareness of the lack of enforcement of the single family zoning ordinance that, as Stevens Point City Council member for district 2, I continue to deal with.

The code for single family homes states that " ... only two unrelated persons can reside in a home" located in the single family zoning. A home located basically in my backyard was in violation of this zoning ordinance . This past summer, three college students were living and renting the home. When the students were told of the violation they were extremely apologetic. The students eventually shared that the agreement was "under the table" plus they were not aware of the single-family zoning ordinance. The students eventually moved out.

Now I think there are two unrelated individuals living in the home; yet at times more than three or four cars are parked in the driveway and the conditions of the home continues to deteriorate.

Continuing with the single family zoning ordinance in district 2, I recently had to deal with a home that was bought apparently by a parent for their daughter who was attending UWSP. The home was brought to my attention by a constituent because of the number of cars parked causing some parking issues on the street. It became obvious to me that somehow during the transaction of the home, the father claimed that he was not aware of the single-family zoning ordinance. With the city's help, the situation was corrected. This example just shows the lack of awareness and enforcement of the single family zoning.

Currently there are several homes for sale in district 2. In order for the single family zoning ordinance to be followed, local realtors need to be aware of the zoning laws, try not to hide it and make the future home owner aware of the specific zoning ordinance. The city also needs to take a stronger stance on enforcing the single family zoning ordinance consistently not just in District 2 but in other districts as well.

Joanne Suomi

Stevens Point council member and Portage County Board Supervisor for district 2

Stevens Point

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