Greenville Hires Law Firm For Neighborhood Ordinance Lawsuit

Greenville has hired an outside law firm to handle a lawsuit filed against city council for approving an new ordinance for certain homeowners.

The lawsuit involves the three unrelated rule, now changed to the 4 unrelated occupancy rule, meaning residents who live in the Tar River University Neighborhood close to ECU, can have 4 unrelated renters live in one home.

Six homeowners in or near this newly zoned area filed a lawsuit against the city council asking to void the new ordinance and reinstate the original one, claiming it unfairly targeted certain areas.

Councilwoman Marion Blackburn is one of two members who voted against the ordinance that resulted in this lawsuit and the use of taxpayer funds to fight it. She says, "To me that indicates a long drawn out legal struggle that could have been avoided, instead of dictate a policy and work with neighborhood as I tried to do."

Councilman Max Joyner, who voted for the 4 unrelated rule, says the change would reduce crime and increase property values. Joyner says, "Marion has been a representative for that area for four years, in four years she hasn't recommended any changes that were legal by the state of NC to make improvements in that area, and she says they haven't had a chance to talk about it. That's all we've done but talk about it."

The council had 60 days to respond to the lawsuit that was filed in court back in July.

The entire council is named as defendants.