New York town bans unrelated roommates from living together after neighbor complains about man shacking up with his fiancee and two friends

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By  Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 11:16 EST, 1  March 2013 |  UPDATED: 12:11 EST, 1 March 2013

A town in upstate New York has has banned  unrelated roommates from living together, in a move that has outraged some  residents who claim the town is discriminating against non-traditional families

Deborah Cavallario became upset last year  that her neighbor lived with his fiancee and two friends in a house together.  She asked the city council of Watertown, NY to pass a zoning regulation that  would prevent unrelated roommates from sharing a house together.

The neighbor, 27-year-old Travis Hartman,  said he rented out the room to his friends to help cover the mortgage on his  home.

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Neighborly feud: Deborah Cavallario (left) complained  that her neighbor Travis Hartman (right) shared a house with his fiancee and two  friends

In a debate before the city council in late  2012, Mrs Cavallario had described Hartman as a good neighbor.

‘This is not a dirt bag kind of thing that  I’m trying to drag my neighbors through,’ she told the governing board of her  town, located 70 miles north of Syracuse.

She said she didn’t like the number of cars  parked in front of the home in her neighborhood and wanted to prevent the  neighborhood from being overrun.

Mr Hartman, a city employee, also appeared  before the council to plead his case.

‘All I’m trying to do is just go out there  and have a normal life, a quiet life,’ he pleaded.

Watertown Local gov’t: The Watertown City Council voted to approve  the ban, 3-2. Now the zoning proposal is under review of the planning committee

He said he was just starting out and needed  multiple roommates to help cover expenses.

A former neighbor of Cavallario testified at  the town hearing that when Cavallario was a young resident and moved to the  wealthy neighborhood near Thompson Blvd., there were residents that complained  that she and her husband weren’t rich enough.

‘She considered them ‘servant class,’  Watertown resident Linda Morrison told the council this unnamed resident had  said about Cavallario.

Morrison warned it was a slippery slope of  neighbors having the right to boot an unwanted resident.

The issue was passed by the city council,  3-2, and was forwarded on to the city’s planning committee.

QuaintQuaint: The quiet town of Watertown has a population of  approximately 30,000

The Mayor of Watertown, Jeffrey Graham, voted  against the measure. He told the MailOnline that it’s a slippery slope when a  town rules who can and cannot live together in a home.

‘From a public relations perspective this is  seen as a tolerance issue, not a land use issue,’ he said.

Many in the town are complaining about the  measure, including young people distraught at the financial cost of housing in a  flagging economy.

‘As a young 20-something, I am livid,’  Marissa J.G. Richardson, a resident who will soon graduate from college, wrote  to the Watertown Daily Times on February 20  about the measure.

‘If I wanted to live independently, I’d have  to get a roommate, no way around it considering how there are very few full-time  jobs (with benefits) in town.’

‘It’s very sad how because one woman feels  the need to get upset about unmarried people living together.’

Watertown has a population of approximately  30,000 residents and is located near Fort Drum.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2286618/New-York-town-bans-unrelated-roommates-living-neighbor-complains-man-shacking-fiancee-friends.html#ixzz2MMctG2E8 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook



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