MILTON — A woman's rental housing activities have attracted the Planning and Development Department's attention.
Cheryl Kursave lives on Robin Avenue, a small residential street between Stewart Street and Dogwood Drive. According to Kursave, she has owned her four-bedroom home since 1992 and rents out her three spare bedrooms. Kursave said she hasn't been able to hold a job since 2012 when her son died, so renting is her only form of income.
“I have been given a notice of violation of local code ordinance… My crime: I rent out bedrooms in my home,” Kursave said. “I’ve rented off and on nearly 23 years. I own my home, free and clear. I pay property taxes and I pay taxes on the money I earn renting my rooms. I earn about $14,500 which is well below the poverty level. I don’t receive any other monies."
According to the city’s zoning code, Kursave could rent rooms in her home as long as the renters were related to her. Her home is zoned R1A, single family residential. Kursave had several of her neighbors sign a form saying that they didn’t object to her renting her rooms out.
Milton Police Chief Tony Tindell said police have been called to Kursave’s home 51 times since 2005 — five times in 2017, with three being domestic disputes between landlord and tenant. Kursave said that she had tenants who caused trouble, but her most recent roommates have not caused any issues.
The deadline given to Kursave to have the roommates out of her home was originally Sept. 1; however, Mayor Wesley Meiss asked the deadline to be pushed to Sept. 15 and the council agreed.
Randy Jorgenson, the city’s planning director, recommended the council change the zoning ordinance to allow boarding houses in all five residential zoning districts as a special exception. With this amendment, the council would be able to address any concerns, such as parking, that may arise with the changing of the rule and address them in the ordinance.
The ordinance amendment would allow those living in all five residential districts to be able to apply with the city to rent out rooms within their home. The city would then notify the residents in that neighborhood and have a hearing to see if the neighbors object. If there are no objections by neighbors, the Board of Adjustments may approve the request, which will then go to the Circuit Court for legal approval.
Jorgenson and the council must construct language to change this ordinance, so the item was moved to the Sept. 21 Committee of the Whole meeting for further discussion. The council agreed to extend Kursave’s Sept. 15 deadline to Nov. 15 to allow ample time to solve her issue.