Fort Worth is considering a proposal that would affect property owners and renters around TCU.
The proposal seeks to create an overlay district in an area surrounding the university that would change the number of unrelated adults allowed to live in a home zoned “A” one-family residential, according to the City of Fort Worth’s website. Currently, the number of unrelated adults allowed to live in any residence, including single-family houses, is five. The proposal would lower the number within the overlay to three.
The city is also considering whether it should apply the proposed unrelated adult occupancy limit throughout the overlay area or give neighborhood associations the option to accept or reject the restrictions, according to the website. In addition, grandfathering properties with more than three bedrooms and a history of renting to more than three unrelated adults is under consideration.
District 3 City Councilman Zim Zimmerman said the issue is that there are people who have four and five bedroom homes in the area that lease to college students who sometimes have all-night parties.
"It's almost like a fraternity house," he said. "I'm just trying to protect the interest of my constituents in the area. We are trying to find some middle ground."
The proposal is just now in the discussion stage, Zimmerman said, and the city wants to get everyone's input.
The Tanglewood Neighborhood Association has not given a formal response to the city regarding the overlay proposal, but has requested input from homeowners and residents in the Tanglewood area, according to Deborah Freed, communication director for the organization.
“The response has been overwhelmingly in support,” Freed wrote in an email. “Given the responses to date, it is probable that we will recommend passing this overlay, without the grandfather option.”
The city wants property owners and neighborhood associations that would be affected by the change to offer input by contacting Dana Burghdoff, Fort Worth's deputy planning and development director at 817-392-8018 to schedule a briefing.
Burghdoff said she has received some response already regarding the proposal.
"I have heard from probably about 15 folks both in support and in opposition," she said.
Burghdoff said the need to create the proposal arose because City Councilmembers were receiving complaints that many of the homes around TCU were not being used in a manner consistent with single-family use. According to Burghdoff, the average number of unrelated adults in a single-family dwelling is three, but in the area surrounding TCU, the number seems to be much higher.
"It is much more activity and more intense," she said.
According to the map provided by the city, neighborhood associations that would be affected by the overlay include Berkeley Place, Bluebonnet Hills, Bluebonnet Place, Colonial Hills, Frisco Heights, Paschal, Park Hill, Park Hill Place, Tanglewood, University Place, University West, Westcliff and Westcliff West.
The city also proposes to change the parking requirements for new single-family homes having more than three bedrooms. That proposal would require an extra parking space, in a specified area, for each additional bedroom over three bedrooms and, according to the city website, would be a city-wide change.
Recently, the City of Austin voted to lower the number of unrelated adults who could live in a single-family residence in that city from six to four. And the Daily Texan weighed in on the subject.
The real goal there, according to the opinion of the Daily Texan, was “to preserve the single-family homes that have existed in these neighborhoods for decades,” as well as prevent predatory developers, who often lack ties to the city, from replacing reliable housing stock.