On Dec. 16, there was a news item in the Eagle reported by Sable Riley which covered the lawsuit pending in federal court involving Oxford House against the City of Dothan. I am sure that I must be missing something about this suit, but without an explanation, I feel obligated to mention what I’m questioning.
On page 8 is the following:
“The Dothan residences (Oxford Houses) are all in areas zoned as single-family residential districts and businesses are not permitted in those districts without special board approval.” (Parentheses added)
It is also reported that the Oxford House will provide housing “for groups of unrelated individuals, between seven and 15, recovering from …”
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “family” is defined as follows:
1. A group of people who are related to each other.
2. A person’s children.
3. A group of related people including people who lived in the past.
Unless I can be proved wrong, I believe that the Zoning Commission, in passing its zoning rules, intended that a “family” must conform to one of the above definitions. I also believe that the people who built or bought homes in these districts relied on the City to enforce its rules.