CLEARFIELD -- Up to three unrelated people can be considered a family according to the newly approved definition that is used in zoning issues.
The city council recently approved amending Title 11, Chapter 3 to alter the meaning of "family" to conform to the state's definition.
This was a topic of discussion during the legislative session. When the definition was changed at the state level, it prompted discussions for city officials as they looked at their own code.
City Manager Adam Len hard said the city previously defined a family as up to two unrelated parties as well as all persons related by blood or marriage. However, he said, the city has not been strictly enforcing the limit of up to two people.
Still, it was a discrepancy between state and city definitions.
"We decided to update it and bring it in line with the state code," Lenhard said.
He explained that the definition of family affects zoning issues. He said zoning is often specific, pinpointing whether use is for a single-family or multifamily dwelling.
"That word family becomes important," he said. "It's not a political statement. It's a land use definition."
He explained that all cities and counties must determine a definition of that word to try to set land use standards.
"It's a baseline for land use when it comes to who is allowed in a dwelling," Lenhard added.
So, for instance, a single-family dwelling would not allow 12 unrelated people to reside in the same home. The code, based on the family definition, would allow only up to three unrelated people.
The family definition also states all persons related by blood or marriage can constitute a family.
Lenhard said the new definition will be used from now on when deciding zoning issues.