University Heights Ordinance Tabled

By Jamie McMillen posted 12-08-2020 09:36:07 AM


ACAR, along with input from Alex Cruz, National Vice President of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, and Dan Tyson, Vice President of the Cleveland chapter of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, shared a letter with University Heights Mayor Michael Brennan and City Council regarding potential Fair Housing concerns included in Ordinance 2020-60, which would have amended parts of the City’s rental registration and inspection process. At its meeting on Monday, December 7, 2020, the University Heights City Council tabled the ordinance to further discuss the items raised by ACAR, along with a few other concerns. Excerpts from the ACAR letter are below.

 “We subscribe to the policy of Fair Housing and are committed to the proposition that it is illegal to discriminate in the sale or rental of housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, ancestry, military status, disability, or national origin. In fact, the REALTOR® Code of Ethics goes a step further stating, “REALTORS® may not refuse to cooperate on the basis of a broker’s race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.” People are entitled to exercise and enjoy the benefits of ownership without undue encroachment or intrusion by government or individuals…

 “ACAR appreciates what appears to be an attempt at an inclusive definition of family with the addition of domestic partnership. However, we believe the City may be setting itself up for a potential future Fair Housing complaint. Rather than using the stated definition of ‘functional family equivalent,’ ACAR would offer the following language from Gurnee, IL, that we, along with Alex Cruz, local REALTOR® and National Vice President of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, and Dan Tyson, local REALTOR®️ and Vice President of the Cleveland chapter of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, believe is inclusive:

Single Housekeeping Unit.
Any household whose members are an interactive group of persons jointly occupying a dwelling unit, including joint access to and use of all common areas including living, kitchen, and eating areas within the dwelling unit, and sharing household activities and responsibilities such as meals, chores, expenses and maintenance, and whose makeup is determined by the members of the unit rather than by the landlord, property manager, or other third party.
“Along the same lines, we would also ask City Council to remove the provision restricting more than three unrelated persons from living together, as this was found to be unconstitutional in Grant Yoder, et al., vs. City of Bowling Green, Ohio, et al.  If the goal of this limitation, regardless of the opportunity to appeal, is to address parking, noise, property maintenance, or other issues, we believe the City has laws in place to address those concerns as opposed to using the familial status of the residents to determine zoning issues.
“Again, we do appreciate the City’s attempt at a more inclusive ordinance but would respectfully ask that consideration be given to the aforementioned areas for concern...” 

ACAR will continue to monitor this ordinance for future action. To learn more about ACAR’s advocacy efforts or to become a community watchdog, please visit:


1 comment



12-27-2020 04:43:27 PM

insert thumbs up emoji here!  Thank you for bringing these issues to light & all of your efforts for change!