New Braunfels Fights The College Kids With All Their Dang Noise

If there's one thing that Texans have always prided themselves on, it's love of Big Government -- especially The Man telling you where, and with whom, you can live. Or at least that's how some folks in New Braunfels see it.

Spurred by complaints over noise and parking issues, the NB Planning Commission is convening the latest in a series of workshops today to reevaluate an ordinance prohibiting more than five unrelated people living in a single-family home. Planning Commission Director Shannon Mattingly says the town is considering allowing no more than three or possibly four unrelated folks in a home. (The linked article states the revised ordinance would only allow people "related by blood," but that's not true; i.e., blended families, foster kids, and legal guardianship are all cool).

"Right now, our ordinance allows for five unrelated people in a single-family home, and there have been some residents who have come to Council and come to the Planning Commission asking us to re-look at that and reconsider it," Mattingly told Hair Balls. As part of this, the commission studied the occupancy ordinances of 30 cities in the state; 90 percent allowed four or fewer, and 43 percent allowed three or fewer.

Mattingly recalled one perturbed New Braunfelsite who was upset that five dang college kids living next door always have friends over, and each friend brings a car, jamming up parking in the area. A revised occupancy ordinance might alleviate some of that problem. However, it would still be perfectly legal for one dude living in a house to invite ten people in ten cars over every single day. So we're not really sure why a revised ordinance would make sense: if a neighboring household is making too much noise, the occupants could be cited for a noise violation; why should it matter how many people live there?

Then again, we don't live next to loud college kids with their jazz records and dancing the Charleston til all hours of the night. If so, we might feel differently.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Contributor Craig Malisow covers crooks, quacks, animal abusers, elected officials, and other assorted people for the Houston Press.
Contact: Craig Malisow