Blake tells us today about how, after having portions of the rental regulation ordinances ruled unconstitutional and others preempted by state law, it appears that the sky has not fallen and our neighborhoods have not burnt to the ground. Despite appearances to the contrary, it actually seems that, for the most part, students (even more than 2 unrelated ones) can live in relative harmony with family homeowners in our subdivisions and neighborhoods. This is not really news to your AthPo editors, both of which have lived on each side of that white picket fence.
This startling revelation leads me to ask the question: was there ever really a problem? Don't get me wrong, I can be as ornery as the next person when a neighbor's house looks like a travelling carnival gone horribly wrong. And I certainly have no problem believing that students have been the culprits in some of these scenarios. But was the problem beyond the enforcement reach of existing ordinances? If so, why aren't the Cedar Creek sticks-in-the-mud screaming their heads off now? It is because they're too busy opposing LPDS? Or have students suddenly gotten the message and straightened up their act? Is it because UGA is no longer a top 10 party school, and students are actually studying now (my anecdotal evidence would certainly not support this theory)?
Fact is, other than a few bad apples, there never really was a problem to be solved. It was a made up issue to score political points at the expense of students. And why not? They're politically expendable.
Andy was right the other night when he called the Commission out on this. But what's the solution? The practical truth is that each individual student is only here for a short time (an even shorter time now that people are actually graduating in 4 years), and it is difficult for them to form their local political roots in that time. As a result, the students as a political body rarely demand that their voice be heard, and those in power don't strain themselves to listen.
Any thoughts on changing this, or on whether it needs to be changed?