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Orem considering age restriction on renting out homes

OREM (Deseret News) — John McMullen had hoped as he neared retirement age to move with his wife into an upstairs apartment and supplement his income by renting out most of his north Orem home.

But a proposed change in the city zoning ordinance would prevent that because, at 61, McMullen is too young.

"We put quite a bit of money into fixing all this up, and now we won't be able to do what we had planned to do with it," said McMullen, a semi-retired electrical engineer who has plans to serve an LDS mission with his wife.

That's exactly what the proposed ordinance change is supposed to do, according to Orem city attorney Steve Earl. The change, he said, will close a loophole that found its way into the ordinance when it was updated in 2007.

Following a public hearing Thursday, the Orem City Planning Commission passed the change on to the City Council with a positive recommendation. The council will consider the change sometime in June.

The point, Earl said, is to protect Orem's family-friendly neighborhoods.

"The City Council has always been concerned about maintaining the single-family nature of homes," Earl said. "There is some concern that this was a loophole that we hadn't intended. We were asked to draft some language that would close that loophole."

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