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Debate over occupancy rules embroils Kaysville neighborhood
Nov 17, 2012 | 4724 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

KAYSVILLE – Wendy and Scott Greenman have opened their home to people who needed their assistance all their married lives, including birth moms and their infants waiting to be adopted.

Wendy Greenman learned to do so growing up, when her parents allowed Native Americans to stay with them. After many years of helping those in need, she considers opening her home to be an important part of her faith in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The family lives in a 6,000-square foot home near Barnes Park, in the area of 950 West and 200 North. A single mom and her school-age daughter live with them and their four children.Recently, they finished a mother-in-law apartment in their basement, and had planned to let LDS missionaries live in it. 

Then, a former missionary who needed a place to stay while finishing his student teaching contacted them. They opened their doors to him, his wife and an infant.

That was the last straw for neighbors, who had known about the long-term guests for years, but had been patient. One of them called Kaysville code enforcement, and the beginnings of a neighborhood battle were underway.

“Our neighbors are great people, but very territorial and orderly Р they always mow perfect lines in their lawn; they like things just so,” Greenman said. “They called the city and reported us, unfortunately, rather than calling us and saying ‘what’s going on?’”

The Greenmans were in violation of city code, which allows no more than five residents in a single-family home if any of those residents is not related by blood, marriage or legal custody.

After being told that she would have to kick the other families out or face a fine, Greenman went to Councilman Jared Taylor.

“In my home I should be allowed to invite people into my home to stay with me if I want to,” Greenman said. “I agree if they don’t want tons of people coming and going, but also we pay our taxes, we pay our mortgage, we live here Й it’s very much just kind of who I am.”

Taylor, the council liaison to the planning commission, proposed an ordinance that limited occupancy not by family relation but by square footage. 

“I don’t think the city did much research before they put that proposal out,” said Susan Longman, one of the Greenman’s neighbors. “There was the potential to turn Kaysville into something very different than what it is.”

Had the Greenmans charged rent, as Longman believes they had planned to do, that would change the issue from one of helping people to one of putting apartments in the neighborhood. Cities everywhere codify that sort of thing, Longman said, and Kaysville itself has many types of neighborhoods.

For more information check out the Nov.15 edition of Davis Clipper.


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