"Manassas Changes Definition Of Family"
Stephanie McCrummen in Washington Post:
"The inspector slid into his Crown Victoria, a police radio on his belt, addresses in hand. It was after 5 p.m., and he and his interpreter rolled into Manassas, down a street of benign ranch houses strung with lights. They parked, walked to a door and knocked.
"Mrs. Chavez?" Victor Purchase asked in the quiet evening.
Victor Purchase, an assistant fire marshal, and interpreter Adriana Vallenas question Jose Ortiz about the number of people living in his townhouse. A new law in Manassas essentially limits households to immediate relatives.
Defining the Family
A new Manassas ordinance narrows, for zoning, what the city considers a family:
A. An individual;
B. Two or more persons related to the second degree of collateral consanguinity by blood, marriage, adoption or guardianship, or otherwise duly authorized custodial relationship, as verified by official public records such as driver's licenses, birth or marriage certificates, court orders or notarized affidavits, living and cooking together as a single housekeeping unit, exclusive of not more than one additional unrelated person;
C. A number of persons, not exceeding three, living and cooking together as a single housekeeping unit though not related by blood, marriage, adoption or guardianship; or
D. Not more than two unrelated persons and their dependent children living and cooking together as a single housekeeping unit.
There had been a complaint, he said. The city needed to know not just how many people lived there but how they were related. He handed Leyla Chavez a form and explained that she could be prosecuted for lying.
"Okay," she said and, in a mild state of shock, began filling it out.
There was Chavez and her husband. Their two sons. A nephew. The man who rented downstairs. His girlfriend.
"Your nephew, under our law, is considered unrelated," Purchase said, then delivered the verdict: Two people had to go.
That is because a zoning ordinance adopted this month by the city of Manassas redefines family, essentially restricting households to immediate relatives, even when the total is below the occupancy limit" (more)