Auburn University Students Evicted due to City’s Ordinance

A city of Auburn ordinance states that in certain zones, no more than two unrelated people can live in one house. This ordinance has been in place for more than 60 years. But, one homeowner’s daughter and four of her other friends have been living there for over a year and now, they have until Tuesday afternoon to move somewhere else.

“This is an ordinance that’s been of record in the city of Auburn since 1952 and revised in 1983 and it’s something the town and mothers and fathers felt important to preserve the neighborhoods and honor students and have those type of situations in residency relationships and arrangements exist in certain zones. We are taking complaints now and have been for years and investigating those and our goal is to get compliance and our goal is to have people educated to know that the law is out there and to know that it will be enforced,” said City of Auburn Attorney Rick Davidson.

The homeowner was cited in Spring of 2016 and city officials hoped it would be the end of it. But, neighbors complained a few months ago, again. A search warrant was issued and the code enforcement officer found the five girls still living there.

“It doesn’t necessarily suggest these people were disruptive in the neighborhood from a standpoint of causing impacts on families and normal comings and goings of a neighborhood, it simply was that there were more people living in what was allowed,” said Davidson.

Judge Jim McLaughlin found the homeowner guilty and fined him around $725 for the violation.

“Anytime the code enforcement officers wants to come check your residence, he believes they established enough probable cause for a warrant to be issued to verify that they are still in compliance or if there was subsequent complaint he would immediately issue the search warrant and allow the city code enforcement officers with assistant of police to verify they are still in compliance,” said Davidson.

Some of those girls are also graduating this December, so they need to find another place to live for the next two months.

City officials also discovered eight other houses in recent months that violated the ordinance. The city says all of those homeowners have complied.

We tried to get a response from the homeowner and his attorney about the results of the case, but they said they did not want to comment at this time.

If you have questions or concerns about this ordinance and the zoning map, visit https://www.auburnalabama.org/.

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