City Forces People to Move Out of House in Violation of Zoning Law

By: Litsa Pappas Email
By: Litsa Pappas Email

Neighbors say a Harrisonburg home has been breaking the law, and now the city is forcing those people to move out.

The house is located in a residential area where the law says no more than two unrelated people can live in a house.

At least four unrelated people live in that house. They're college students, and neighbors are fed up with them especially since they say they're breaking a law by living together.

Dozens of people came out to the Harrisonburg Board of Zoning Appeals meeting Monday night, all upset over that one house.

"Send the Sheriff over and throw these people out!" said one neighbor to the board.

Neighbors likes Heidi Perry say the people who live in that house on Port Republic Road are disturbing their neighborhood.

"I don't really want to be awake at 3 AM listening to music," said Perry.

She says she's trying to sell her house, but it's tough with the condition of the house next door.

"We have an email from our realtor stating that people are interested but the house next door comes up all the time," said Perry. "Its appearance is I think dragging down property values in the neighborhood."

It's not just the disturbance. Neighbors say the property owner is breaking the law by renting the house to more than two unrelated people. He says he'll kick them out, but he needs more time to do so.

"They are obviously causing a huge problem, I mean even to the community at large, you can see how many people here. I never mean to cause that," said the property owner to the board.

But neighbors like Perry asked the Board of Zoning Appeals to deny that extra time. They want those tenants out immediately.

"If you go into a neighborhood and buy a house, zoned residential and then later you move and knowingly rent it to more than two unrelated people, you're breaking a zoning law," said Perry.

The board voted to side with the neighbors. They're now giving the property owner just 30 days to get rid of the tenants instead of the three months he requested.

Now neighbors are worried the college students are going to throw a big party to get back at them for forcing them to move out. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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