City poised to redefine “family”

Until recently, the City of Saint Paul restricted the number of unrelated adults who could live in one residential unit by enforcing an outdated definition of “family” in its Zoning Code, defining family as:

Family. One (1) or two (2) persons or parents, with their direct lineal descendants and adopted or legally cared for children (and including the domestic employees thereof) together with not more than two (2) persons not so related, living together in the whole or part of a dwelling comprising a single housekeeping unit. Every additional group of four (4) or fewer persons living in such housekeeping unit shall be considered a separate family for the purpose of this code.

If the St. Paul City council approves it the new definition of family for zoning purposes will be:

Household.  Six (6) or fewer adults and minor children in their care, living together in a dwelling unit.

Saint Paul’s Zoning Code uses a definition of the term “family” to regulate the number of unrelated occupants allowed in one residential dwelling unit.

The new definition is a bit more flexible than the old and will come before the city council sometime this year. I always find zoning rules and codes interesting.

We use the term “Single Family” as a way to describe single housing units too. If you buy a single-family home you can fit all eight of your children in it and still have room for the cat and the dog and maybe some backyard chickens too.

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