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Town of Amherst is redefining what 'family' means

Get ready for the Town of Amherst's new idea of what makes a family.

The town wants to replace the existing, one-sentence definition of "family" in its zoning code with a lengthy, 2½-page explanation of what constitutes a clan. Town Attorney Stanley J. Sliwa said Amherst proposes to broaden the definition to make it easier to restrict rooming, boarding and fraternity and sorority houses.

Amherst's zoning code narrowly defines a family as people living together related by "blood, marriage or adoption," or "whose living arrangements are the functional equivalent of a traditional family."

The proposed change states four or more people living together who are not related by blood, marriage or adoption or legal foster relationship aren't equivalent to a family unless they can prove permanence, for example, through common ownership of furniture and appliances.

The Planning Board must review and the Town Board must approve the changes.

   Amherst proposes to redefine 'family' in zoning code by AaronBesecker on Scribd

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