About 100 students at North Carolina State University met Feb. 5 with Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, City Inspection Director Gene Ellis and Assistant City Manager Lawrence Wray to discuss the proposed ordinance that would limit the number of unrelated roommates who can live together inside Raleigh’s city limits.
Although students appreciated the 90 minutes Meeker devoted to hearing their concerns over the proposal, many wondered why, with so much riding on this proposal, none of the other seven members of the City Council showed up.
The current draft of the proposal, scheduled for consideration by the Planning Committee of the City Council on March 4, reduces the number of unrelated students who can live together in a single-family house, duplex, or townhouse from four to two.
In its current form, the ordinance would hurt people who choose to live with a number of roommates to make the costs of living more affordable. Students at NCSU say they feel targeted by the proposal. The Campus Greens, a chapter of the Green Party, collected the signatures of over 300 students on a petition opposing the ordinance and presented the petition to Meeker.
Meeker said in the meeting he didn’t believe the ordinance would pass in its current form. However, he is only one voice and one vote on the City Council.
He told the students that NCSU is important to the council and the city, and “there is nothing more important to this community both economically, culturally and educationally than N.C. State.”
The students are waiting to see just how important the City Council thinks they really are.