The Outrageous Bylaw in Amherst Every UMass Student Should Be Infuriated By! (Comment Project)

The Collegian just posted a article about a very little known by-law in Amherst. Apparently, by law, it is illegal for more than 4 unrelated people to share a place of residence. And apparently the town is cracking down on this law that apparently landlords and realitors are fully aware of, although their tenants are in the dark about this usually unenforced law.




As someone who just signed on to a house with 4 other girls, this makes me worried. I don’t feel like being evicted or asked to leave my nice new condo any time soon thank you. Rent is outrageous if you want to live anywhere near campus ( I’m paying $460 a month plus utilities for a shared room). It’s sometimes impossible to find decent housing you can afford without like 9 other people signing on with you. It’s a stupid law that shouldn’t be enforced. 

What also makes me worried is that it is often neighbors who bring this to the towns attention through complaints. Like honestly, if you really have a problem with a bunch of college kids being your neighbors, why did you move to Amherst, particularly right near the university, where thousands of kids move off campus every year if you don’t want to live near them. That was their choice and we as students trying to save some money by squishing ourselves like sardines into a house, thats our choice. 

The other part of the article that really got me mad was the reasoning behind the creation and enforcement of the law. According to Town Manager Laurence Shaffer ” the issue comes down to public health and aesthetics. Shaffer said crammed quarters often create nontraditional bedroom situations that can become dangerous in emergency situations. A high population of student cars, he said, creates an aesthetic issue in lots that cannot support them.”

“Aesthetics”?  “Nontraditional bedroom situations”? “Danger”?  Like honestly, WTF are you talking bout Mr. Town Manager?!


Here’s he comment I posted on the story-




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6 Responses to The Outrageous Bylaw in Amherst Every UMass Student Should Be Infuriated By! (Comment Project)

  1. braddurkin says:

    Yeah, kind of nuts. I agree with you that people who live here, should not complain. Even professors here try to live in a surrounding town. I’ll tell you one thing… I will not raise my kids in a college town like this for a number of reasons… Mostly because I bet they’d turn into raging alcoholics by the time they were 13, and probably start having underage sex because theyd be at college parties by the time they were 8 1/2.

  2. haleyo12 says:

    Haha… I grew up 20 minutes from UNH (which has been in the top 20 party schools since way before my birth)… and its so true, it was way easier to get drugs and booze for kids in our town than kids who lived further away.
    Definitely raise your kids far far from a party school unless you want them to end up like me. =D haha

  3. leet4321 says:

    The drug-free school zones are also kind of crazy. There’s grammar school right next to North Apartments. Technically, we can’t even kick back with a blunt in our own apartments. Oh wait, that’s probably not allowed regardless…

  4. agarnier says:

    This is funny because I heard people talking about this the other day on the bus. This rule is a ridiculous they have to expect that especially in a college town thousands of kids are going to be looking for off campus housing. This rule needs to be changed and should be different if it is students living in a house.

  5. haleyo12 says:

    I’d have to agree that drug-free zones are also kid of a joke seeing as the biggest drug dealer I’ve ever heard of lived literally feet from a high school.

    The rule definitely needs to be changed, and I think student government is working very hard to do so.

  6. Steph says:

    Yeaa, I am living in a house next year with 5 girls. I am pretty sure we read about this law in the Collegian and then immediately laughed and proceeded to sign our lease 🙂

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