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Roommates or boarding house? Milton woman cited for renting room

Roommates or boarding house? Milton woman cited for renting room

* A previous version of this story has been updated to correct the date for the Committee of the Whole meeting.

Roommates or a boarding house?

A living situation that one Milton woman thought was a legal way to earn some cash, may actually have her paying fines to the city. The four-bedroom home on Robin Avenue has been home to Cheryl Kursave since 1992.

Throughout the years, Kursave said others have called it "home", too.

Kursave said ever since her son died, she has used the website Craigslist.org to rent out her three empty rooms. It is how she makes money to pay bills and in some instances, she has also made friends.

"Sometimes she cooks dinners for us," her roommate, Art Smith said.

They pay her a flat rate and she provides room and utilities.

It is a typical roommate agreement. Except, it is not legal where she lives according to the City of Milton's Unified Development Code. She received a citation in the mail just recently.

The citation reads that she is in violation of Article 7, Sec. 7.1-7.3 which states that a dwelling used for the purpose of providing lodging for a fee to anyone other than family is considered a "boarding house." Those are not allowed where she lives.

"I've been doing it off and on for 23 years, nobody has said anything," Kursave said.

Milton City Planning Director Randy Jorgenson told WEAR-TV that they received a complaint. He said after his code enforcement officers looked into the situation and spoke with Kursave, they found an issue with zoning.

Her home is zoned for single-family use and since the people paying to live there are not her family members, she is in violation.

"I can see where they're classifying that, cause there's rooms for rent here," Kursave admits.

She just did not know that renting the rooms was not allowed. So now, she has asked the council to reconsider the citation.

On Monday night's meeting, they agreed to take up the issue at the August 17 Committee of the Whole Meeting.

Kursave hopes for the best because she said it is the only way she can pay the bills.

"I don't want to be in this position whatsoever, but here I am and this is what I'm doing," she said.

If the council decides she is noncompliant, and say her roommates have to go, she faces a daily $120 fine each day her roommates stay in the home.

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