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As a multi-decade homeowner in the city of Bozeman, I have depended on the city’s zoning codes and the prudence of a variety of city commissioners to protect my investment and inform my decisions regarding improvements. Predictability and reasonable expectations in the use of adjacent properties, as promised in the code, are paramount to the well-being of residents and encourage their support of the city’s goals and objectives.

An alteration of the city code has placed a great number of residential properties in jeopardy and threatens our well-being, peace and equanimity.

The current Bozeman Unified Development Code, Table 38.310.030.A lumps fraternities and sororities into the Group Living zoning category as a permitted principal use. I don’t know if any residential property owners were aware that the alteration removed the specific and separate non-authorized status of new fraternities in R-S, R-1, R-2 zoning districts. A family home in a residential neighborhood purchased or rented by a fraternity is not a healthy proposition. Regardless of how small the number of full-time member residents, the house becomes the hangout for both resident and non-resident members and their guests, generating a negative impact on traffic flow and parking; bringing with it noise, random numbers of people, and behaviors not necessarily similar or sympathetic to domestic residential family use.

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