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Nontraditional 'Family' Questions Hartford Zoning Code

After a group of unrelated adults bought and moved into a large house in Hartford, Connecticut, they were found to be in violation of local regulations. They are asking for a broader definition of 'family.'
March 29, 2015, 5am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Eleven adult friends moved into 69 Scarborough Street in Hartford, planning to make a home there. "Like others, they bought their home and live here in apparent domestic harmony and all 12 consider themselves a family. Except, this group of 11 actually includes three couples, with three children, and two single people. They're all longtime friends, who decided years ago, they wanted to live together."

Some neighbors were none too pleased with this arrangement. From the article: "Someone complained to the city, which determined in October that the living arrangement violates the zoning code for the neighborhood, which specifies that although the houses may be massive, no more than two unrelated people can live in them. It came as a surprise to the group."

This approach to communal living isn't unheard-of: "Some cities and towns have found a way to address these kinds of living arrangements, they call it a 'functional family' and that definition actually describes this group pretty well: they must have an ownership interest, share housekeeping duties, which usually means is there is only one kitchen, and other specifications so that these homes don't end up as boarding houses."

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Published on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 in WFSB
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