Manassas To Repeal Housing Occupancy Change

AP, Jan. 12

The Manassas City Council said last night that it will take steps to repeal an ordinance banning extended family members from living in the same house.

City officials suspended enforcement of the measure last week after civil rights groups complained that the ordinance targeted Hispanic families.

The ordinance, adopted Dec. 5, changed the definition of family in the city’s zoning code so single-family homes were restricted to immediate relatives, even if the total number was below the legal occupancy limit.

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia had said it would challenge the ordinance in court. It called the ban “an unconstitutional government infringement on the right of family members to live together” and was mostly, if not solely, being used against Hispanic families.

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