Watertown Lawmakers May Be Asked To Reverse Zoning Change
Watertown City Council may be asked Monday night to reverse its controversial zoning code change.
Lawmakers approved a zoning ordinance aimed at keeping non-related people from living together in some residential districts.
The change gained international attention last week.
The British tabloid the Daily Mail picked up the story and comedian Drew Carey tweeted about it.
Mayor Jeff Graham says the city hs received more than 2,000 e-mails after the controversy went viral on the internet.
Graham says he plans to ask his fellow council members to dump the recently enacted ordinance or draft a new one that eliminates the controversy.
The mayor says the city has been getting a bad image for its stance and says the public perception is one of intolerance.
Graham and Councilwoman Teresa Macaluso voted agaisnt the ordinance; counciul members Roxanne Burns, Joe Butler and Jeff Smith supported it
The issue started when Debbie Cavallario of Thompson Boulevard had a problem with the idea of her neighbor living with roommates.
Mayor Jeff Graham said the zoning change was essentially a political move and would probably not be enforced.
"Sometimes in a small town, supporters -- political supporters or just family friends -- put a lot of heat on you to do something about a given problem they perceive," he said.
"You want to help them out, you want to accommodate them, and I think in this case it was clear there was an effort to throw a bone, if you will."
Sunday, June 26, 2016, Watertown, NY
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