That body last week turned down a request from Dan Beckwith, who wanted to allow his three tenants to stay in the home until next July. They had begun renting the house last summer and attend Kennesaw State University.
The case came to the attention of the county after a neighbor complained about the number of cars in the driveway. Beckwith said he didn’t know about the law and complained that it is too restrictive.
His complaint was echoed by Realtor Chris Norris, who said he had to turn down potential tenants recently who wanted to rent out their three-bedroom home to five people. He and Beckwith complained the law primarily impacts young people and warned it could prevent the county from attracting more young adults.
As a matter of fact, the law is aimed in part at college students. It’s designed to preserve the quality of life in neighborhoods near Cobb’s institutions of higher learning. While many students living off-campus are nose-to-the-grindstone types, there are just as many others for whom partying is the priority and who, have little or no interest in complying with noise, parking, landscape and other restrictions that apply to single-family-home neighborhoods.
The ordinance in question also has another target — that being unscrupulous landlords who rent to those in the country illegally. In fact the ordinance was passed in reaction to the wave of complaints from around the county, especially but not exclusively, from neighborhoods lower on the economic scale in which homes meant for a single family were suddenly being inhabited by a dozen or more adults, often young males but sometimes with multiple children as well. Single-family homes are meant for single families. They are not meant to be dormitories or flophouses, or in the case of those near colleges, unofficial frat houses.
If anything, rather than loosen the law in question, Cobb County should ramp up its enforcement, especially as the economy slowly improves and the number of those flooding here in search of work from south of the border starts going up again.