Editorial: Housing proposal unconstitutional

Last week the Muncie City Council unanimously introduced a proposal that would prohibit more than three unrelated tenants from living together in a house newly converted to a rental home.

Houses that are currently being rented unrestricted will be grandfathered under the proposal and will be unaffected if the proposal passes.

But the chances of the proposal passing may have decreased significantly after the Indiana Court of Appeals unanimously struck down a similar ordinance in Bloomington.

The three-judge panel ruled that Bloomington's ban was biased in favor of families and violated the state constitution's equal privileges and immunities clause.

The decision did not declare all such ordinances unconstitutional, only those written to control trash, noise and traffic.

Sound familiar?

These are the same objectives the Riverside-Normal City Neighborhood Association has been trying to accomplish in City Council meetings for so long.

The court said banning houses with more than three unrelated adults did not result in cleaner neighborhoods.

At the last City Council meeting representatives of the neighborhood group denied arguments that the proposal is unconstitutional.

"If it is unconstitutional, somebody would've coughed up some case law by now," Bill Morgan said. "So, forget about that argument."

Well, finally, here is your case law.

The proposal goes before City Council June 3 for possible final approval. City Council should take the Bloomington case into consideration and vote down the proposal.


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