COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The "No more than four" ordinance is the city policy that no more than four unrelated persons can live in a single unit. Exceptions to the rule include things like adoption, guardianship, or marriage.
However, some students that live off campus have tried to get around the rule, and the city of College Station wants to ensure residents are aware of the policy.
"That would be you know, five students who are occupying a home together is technically in violation of the city's definition of what a family is in single-family neighborhoods," College Station Planning Administrator, Alyssa Halle-Schramm said. "Our code enforcement team has been doing proactive enforcement in the fall on that, and so some students received citations."
Those citations would usually include a fine ranging from $200-$600. Now the city has stopped proactively enforcing the ordinance and is working to educate students about the rule with the help of Texas A&M.
"There are, of course, a lot of students who live in both College Station and Bryan, and so off-campus housing is certainly something that is provided through the private market," Schramm said. "We as a city are looking at different zoning controls and regulations to figure out where student-oriented housing or more dense developments can and should go."
With rent on the rise like so many other things due to inflation, and the university only having about 12,000 beds for its over 70,000 students, it can be hard for students to have a place to live, let alone follow the city ordinance.
"It's definitely something we're trying to look at holistically within the city of affordable housing as a whole," Schramm said. "The city has certain tools that we can use to encourage housing supply in certain areas, and so we're looking at that. One of those tools is the Middle Housing Zoning District we created last October."