The Norman Transcript

Opinion

March 9, 2014

Unrelated person ordinance needs to be enforced, not abolished

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

The opinion expressed by John Lungren, a Realtor, in a recent Norman Transcript should be recognized by all who read it for what it really is: a self-serving, uninformed attempt to influence the City Council. The motive is self-evident: greed, nothing more. Purporting to speak for a “group of 53 property managers/landlords,” the letter calls for the City Council to abolish the city ordinance limiting more than three unrelated persons from occupying a single family residence, claiming it is “offensive and appalling” and a violation of the U.S. Constitution. Poppycock!

· Hungry Landlords and Property Managers: One need not drive around Norman long to see the growing number of apartment complexes being built that are targeted to students, and the corresponding number of “Available in May” signs popping up earlier and lingering longer in the yards of rent houses.

Apparently three tenants in a single family residence does not produce enough revenue to satisfy this group of 53 property managers and landlords. But the solution for them is not the one they urge: that they should have the unlimited ability to rent their single family properties by the bedroom, as they now do in many Norman neighborhoods, without regard to the effect it has on the nearby homeowners. The right solution is a new business plan: start with respect for the homeowners in our community; use your business knowledge and skill to own and manage duplexes, four-plexes, boarding houses and apartment located in areas that are properly zoned for that purpose.

· Uninformed (But Never in Doubt): Mr. Lungren and his group of 53 waive the U.S. Constitution in our faces claiming their rights to due process, privacy, free association and so on, are being violated by Norman’s ordinance prohibiting more than 3 unrelated persons living together in a single family residence. Contrary to what they say, Norman’s ordinance is not unconstitutional, and the United States Supreme Court, 40 years ago, said so. In 1974, in Village of Belle Terre v. Boraas (Google it!), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a city ordinance defining the word “family” to mean “not more than 2 unrelated persons,” when used to limit the number of inhabitants that could occupy a residence zoned as a single family dwelling, did not violate the rights to equal protection, privacy, or association, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, enjoyed by the property owner or the tenants. If limiting the definition of “family” to two persons is okay, how can limiting it three not be so?

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Marijuana a gateway for new OK voters

    A poll this past year showed significant Oklahoma support for legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The poll showed that more than 71 percent of those surveyed thought medical marijuana was appropriate for patients who ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Expansion effect evaluated

    Editor, The Transcript: The effect of the Medicaid expansion rejection and acceptance on hospitals’ uncompensated costs are now being evaluated....

    July 31, 2014

  • America paying the piper

    Every third American you pass on the street has debts that have been turned over to a collection agency whose 140,000 workers are keeping the phones ringing....

    July 31, 2014

  • State is No. 2 in barbecue

    Americans love the marriage of smoke, fire and meat, but geography plays a part in how strong the passion is. Estately Blog has created a map charting which states are home to the most barbecue enthusiasts. Oklahoma comes in at No. 2 in ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Community Action mostly closed due to cutbacks

    Editor, The Transcript: The Community Action, at 1155 E Main St. in Norman, for decades has served Cleveland County with the following everyday services: a food pantry, short-term housing for the homeless, providing rides for those without ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Keep guns off campus

    Some Oklahoma lawmakers just won’t let the issue of allowing handguns on campus to go away. A joint legislative study will take a look at campuses around the nation to see if there is a way to accommodate faculty, staff and students who ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Improving children’s lives

    Social service organizations that have long-term debt for their headquarters and operating needs often spend much of their fundraising efforts meeting those obligations....

    July 29, 2014

  • Nutritional article should be accurate

    I read with interest the July 13 article “Are low-carb diets really healthy?” by Cassidie Day. Unfortunately, a number of statements in this article were incorrect. The first problematic statement was, “Carbs are an essential nutrient ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Hospital story headline was too sensationalized

    Editor, The Transcript: On July 18, The Transcript ran a front page article with the headline “Lawsuit filed against Norman Regional — Civil suit alleges improper billing practices by NRH and contracted physicians groups.” As a first page ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014