Greenport Village Board to discuss definition of a family again

CYNDI MURRAY FILE PHOTO | Village board members hope to define “family.”

Greenport Village board members are expected to discuss amending its definition of family under village zoning code during its work session tonight.

Discussion comes less than a month after the board held its first public hearing on the proposed definition change.

Mayor David Nyce said the change is needed to keep the village code consistent with its newly passed rental regulations law, adding that the new rental rules are “more broad-reaching.”

Currently, the code defines a family as “one or more persons occupying a dwelling unit as a single nonprofit housekeeping unit. More than five persons, exclusive of domestic servants, not related by blood, marriage or adoption do not constitute a family,” according to the existing code.

The board’s definition of family came under fire during public hearings on the rental regulations law.  Residents protested that the limited definition did not take into account diversity and the changing dynamics of modern families. Some went as far as to call the village’s definition of a family “racist” during those hearings. Many of those sentiments continued to be echoed during last month’s public hearing.

The Village Board will take up the issue again tonight at 6 p.m. at the Third Street Fire House.

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