Sharing housing, families, and zoning


#1

Continuing the discussion from Hartford, CT says friends can’t room together unless some of them are servants:

Since this original comment by my friends from Pittsburgh remains flagged/hidden because of what I believe is a misinterpretation, and this topic is fresh for me with challenges to shared living in the Boston area, I’m reviving it here for comment now that the original thread is closed:

Archaic zoning laws need to be scrapped. The appropriate issues for zoning boards to address have nothing to do with family definitions, but concern safety and behavior expectations. For example, minimum sq. footage per resident. The Scarborough residents have 55 sq. ft. per household member. Sounds like enough to me. There is no mention of inappropriate or offensive behavior that creates any realistic burdens on the neighbors. Cars per residence? That might need to be regulated in zoning codes. But a biological family of 2 adults and 9, 10 or more driving age offspring would bring as many cars. I am glad that the Scarborough group is fighting the decision. This makes a perfect test case that can lead to positive change. We are 3 unrelated cooperative householders from Pittsburgh who bought a house together in 2004. Thank goodness our upscale suburb did not have any archaic zoning laws on the books. Changing demographics (the wave of aging boomers and increasing numbers of people living alone and struggling to afford housing, or just longing to live in community) mandates new models, including shared housing options for unrelated adults. Cooperative householding is an excellent way to live. We are confident that we have been very good neighbors to our neighbors despite our unconventional household composition. Wake up Hartford! And, Commenters, take a look at what many of you have written: Sad to say, many of the comments have been small-minded and bigoted in various directions.
Jean, Karen and Louise in Pittsburgh
Co-Authors of “My House Our House: Living Far Better for Far Less in a Cooperative Household”

Note that the “Commenters” reference here appears to be addressed to people commenting on the original newspaper site, not BB’s high-quality commenters.


#2

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