Definition of Family – Rooming House Ordinance

CPSA supports the Definition of Family Ordinance to be voted on at the September 22, 2003 City Commission meeting. It will reduce from 6 to 3 the number of un-related people that can live in a single family residence in RS-1 and RS-2 Zoning Districts. Houses with greater than 3 un-related occupants would be classified as Rooming Houses or Boarding Houses, which are not allowed in RS-1 and RS-2. It also provides a time period for houses to be brought into compliance so no one will be thrown out on the street.

Currently our ordinance allows up to 6 un-related people to live in a single family house in RS-1 and RS-2. The change to allow 6 un-related people was made only a few years ago to accommodate the family styles and patterns being experienced today. However, it has opened up a loophole that is now being exploited to the detriment of our neighbhorhoods.

Specifically, houses in RS-1 and RS-2 are being converted into ‘rooming houses’ even though they are not permitted by our zoning ordinance in those districts. This changes the nature of our neighborhoods drastically from residents who are involved and care about the quality of life to residents who are temporary and owners who are absent and more concerned about monthly cash flow.

CPSA believes this is an important issue to the quality of life of our neighborhoods. St. Augustine’s neighborhoods are an integral part of the fabric of St. Augustine’s historic qualities. We need to emphasize their quality of life issues rather than their commercial investment appeal.