The Norman Transcript

February 23, 2014

‘Nuisance House’ law should remain unchanged


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript: 

As past president of the South Pickard Neighborhood Association and a homeowner, I take extreme issue with Mr. Lungren and his total lack of knowledge, and caring, about this ever-present problem. A few years ago I had the pleasure of being appointed by Mayor Rosenthal to the “Nuisance House” commission. As you may or may not know, that commission came about out after the death of a University of Oklahoma student from alcohol poisoning.  The Norman Police Department at that time shared with us videos they had taken at some of these “Nuisance  Houses;” one of which had over 1,000 people in attendance by their estimation, at an off-campus party. We had many civic leaders, as well as Chief Cotten and Chief Woolen from Norman and OU Police Departments and other staff from the university and Greek community on the commission.

The neighborhoods of Norman became the “dumping ground” of the university problem, when they declared OU as an alcohol free zone with zero tolerance, and now Mr. Lungren wishes to “dump” on us once more.  I know exactly why Mr. Lungren wants this law abolished; it’s because the current law holds him responsible for the actions of his tenants. The law requires that the owner be notified when tenants are issued a ticket by the police.  More than one requires that the owner escalate his actions with his tenants and three can lead to utilities such as water being cut off and remaining off until the tenants move or make restitution.  All fair to those who must endure the daily trials of living around a “mini dorm.” The commission met for months, sought information from several college communities the same size and makeup of Norman and with great thought and discussion came up with our current laws. 

We have one such residence in the 1800-1900 block of South Pickard where the “residents” park under a No Parking sign every single day.  Are all students this way ... certainly not.  That is the exact reason for the three un-related persons rule. Over three and it grows quickly to as many can fit into the home.   The freshman training, that all students now coming to OU must attend about alcohol was one of the results of that commission.  More importantly was the new set of City Ordinances that also came into being; one of those the one Mr. Lungren is wanting to rescind.  I call upon all home owners to flood their respective City Council members with calls and emails as well as personal visits to demand they not change a word about a system that was put into place and works.  “Mini dorms” work, they are called apartment complexes; NOT residential areas, with families raising children.

LEA GREENLEAF

Norman

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