Friday, December 26, 2014

What is a Family?

This house on Hartford's fanciest street stood empty for four years.  It is too big for most people.  It has nine bedrooms, six bathrooms, 6,000 square feet and sits on two acres.   While unoccupied, someone stole all the copper gutters and downspouts.  Last summer it was sold.


One couple with kids, a childless couple, a gay couple, two single adults and three children moved in.  The eight adults are friends who share duties around the house, including the cooking, put house maintenance money into a single bank account and eat at a communal table.  Neighbors have complained to the City of Hartford, because zoning limits occupancy to single families.
The occupants of the house say they consider themselves a family, albeit a non-traditional one.


If the unrelated adults were domestic employees, no problem.   

Take out your exam booklets and pens.  So, in today's world, is it OK for this group 
to occupy a home like this in a single family zone?  

21 comments:

Mo said...

A perfect family. More should live like this offering a more rounded family structure. So good the house can now house a group like this.

Ed said...

That's great looking house and if it takes a "family" like you've described to maintain it and make it a home, I'm all for it. With all the trouble in the world today no one should be worried about something like this.

Luis Gomez said...

I am all for this! Neighbors should be worried about more important things in their own lives.

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

Wonderful story...except for those grouchy neighbors ....hope it all works out in the end!

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

If these people have to leave then I hope that a clan of Scots bagpipe players buy it!

Sharon Anck said...

I think it's an excellent use of the house and I love the communal living idea. It's a beautiful house!

Bob Crowe said...

Of course, that's a matter of definition. The city ordinance probably has one. If they get along with each other, fine with me.

Lowell said...

That's about my size home. Who cares so long as they don't bother people and claim to be an untraditional family.

jennyfreckles said...

I love John's comment! Far better to have the house lived in and cared for. Who's to say what 'family' is? If you feel like family then you ARE family - and they're probably happier, by the sound of it, than some traditional 'nuclear' families.

RedPat said...

I'm for it! Seems like a perfect way for people to create a community!

Sylvia K said...

Oh, yes! I'm with John and Jenny!! And, indeed, who's to say what a family is? I'm all for it and wish them the best!!!

William Kendall said...

Neighbours should mind their own business. If the property's cared for and the residents are polite and civil, that's all that matters.

Randy said...

It's a beauty but I would not want to clean it.

Kay said...

So...the neighbors would prefer a small family group with obvious entitlement issues, a large cadre of domestics and a new set of copper gutters? Oh, wait! Am I projecting my values??

José Mendonça said...

What's the problem??? I really don't know what to say except those neighbours should worry about their own lives. Unbelievable.

VP said...

No other things to worry about in that neighborhood?

Halcyon said...

I think as long as they are ok with the arrangement, who are outsiders to judge?

PerthDailyPhoto said...

That big house was just made for this type of family dynamic.. Hopefully the neighbours will soon realise this and concentrate on what's going on between their own walls. I do love your description here Jack, let's hope all involved have a happy new year.

EG CameraGirl said...

Crazy neighbours if they would prefer to see this house fall apart because no one lives in it. What ARE they thinking??!

Stefan Jansson said...

Sounds like a big happy family to me.

CaT said...

complicated!!
i wouldnt want to live like that, but if they want to, why not?
:)