New ordinances bringing peace to Jacksonville neighborhoods

Several new ordinances recently enacted in Jacksonville, Florida, have had the desired effect of calming down the atmosphere in family neighborhoods, according to The Anniston Star. Along with creating more peaceful living environments, the ordinances have also had several other unintended effects on the real estate market, making this a good time to look at homes for sale in Jacksonville.

The first ordinance restricts the number of unrelated tenants that can live in a home in certain residential districts. The other allows for tougher enforcement on unruly gatherings. The news source reports that the former ordinance was passed in May 2011, but residents were granted a 14-month grace period. Meanwhile, the latter law was put into place in February of last year.

The unrelated occupants law faced some controversy over the definition of a family for use in the city's zoning code. Both sides of the debate eventually reached a compromise on the sliding scale of families, with single-family homes allowed two unrelated tenants and two-family residences allowed three unrelated individuals, according to the news source.

Meanwhile, police were granted significantly more leeway to disband unruly gatherings under the regulations of the new laws. The Anniston Star reports that if gatherings included a combination of excessive noise or traffic, obstruction of streets, illegal parking, public intoxication or urination, the possession or use of alcohol by minors and general disturbances of the peace, police could impose strict consequences. These punishments ranged from fines to community service and even jail time.

Bringing a more peaceful environment into family-friendly neighborhoods could prompt the values of the houses there skyrocket. Additionally, potential homeowners may be more likely to buy a house in one of these neighborhoods if they are assured of moving into a comfortable living atmosphere. Current local residents have already given strong endorsements of the ordinances.

"I think the ones who were in the town perpetrating the unruly gatherings are learning," Sherry Blanton, a local homeowner, told the news source.

Continued improvements along these veins could see the Jacksonville real estate market surge. The city was recently added to the list of improving housing markets in September, according to the National Association of Home Builders. This index was created by identifying metropolitan areas that had shown improvement over a six month period in housing permits issued, employment rates and average housing prices. Jacksonville should be a staple of this list with the addition of the new ordinances.