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Will mayor veto rent rule?

PROVO — Mayor Lewis K. Billings has two weeks to decide whether he will veto an ordinance that reduces the number of single people allowed to rent a housing unit in parts of the city from three to two.

The City Council finalized its approval of the ordinance Tuesday with a 4-3 vote. Billings has indicated he may veto the ordinance, and he has been under heavy pressure to do so since the law was initially approved by the council two weeks ago.

The ordinance, which takes effect immediately, applies to neighborhoods zoned for single-family homes. Neighborhoods can opt out of the ordinance with the support of a majority of its residents.

The ordinance affects only new developments, but landlords of existing developments that house three singles per unit could lose their right to do so if they begin leasing units to two singles or a family.

Proponents of the ordinance say it will maintain the intended nature of the city's single-family neighborhoods. Opponents say it will decrease property values and increase the cost of rent for BYU students who do not want to live in apartment complexes.

The public meeting held on the ordinance two weeks ago drew the largest crowd to a Provo City Council meeting in eight years.