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19 People In One House?

April 11, 2005

I correct the vote total on the $1.04 rate. It was six yes, 2 against
(York and Burton) and one abstaining (Kurtz). It is still 3 not voting
to reduce spending as much as we would want. And 6 who are attempting to
reduce the rate of increases.

The following major development is a direct result of the overcrowding
regulations that you and I worked to pass last year and is dominating
the local news at this time: (I quote in full the official statement):

>>>Loudoun Officials Enforcing Regulations on Occupancy Limits

Loudoun County authorities have successfully executed the first
administrative search warrant obtained since the Board of Supervisors
adopted portions of the Statewide Building Code dealing with enforcement
of occupancy limits in existing dwellings.

The search warrant was executed April 5, 2005, in response to an
overcrowding complaint in Sterling. Working with officials from the
county's Divisions of Building Code Maintenance and Zoning Enforcement,
Loudoun County Deputy Sheriffs and U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement agents found 13 people living in a 1,000 square-foot home at
315 N. Argonne Avenue.

The investigation began in late February when Enforcement Program
Manager Keith T. Fairfax received a complaint regarding overcrowding and
excess trash at the home. Enforcement staff observed the single family
dwelling for several weeks, noting as many as 19 individuals entering
and exiting the home. Loudoun County officials say the property owners,
Min Xing Li and Yan Feng Chen of Sterling, failed to respond to a notice
of violation and a Loudoun County Magistrate issued the administrative
search warrant so that authorities could enter the house.

Upon searching the home, authorities found 13 men and women in the
house, which contained 20 beds, two bathrooms and one kitchen.
Immigration officials made arrests when four of the residents could not
demonstrate they were in the United States legally. Three of the tenants
stated that they were related.

According to Overcrowding Inspector Jacob Hambrick, the Building Code
would allow a total of six persons in the home, while the Zoning
Ordinance would permit the family members plus two roomers.
Consequently, Hambrick says, in this case, only five persons could
legally reside at the Sterling home: the three related residents and two

Following the search, Fairfax and Hambrick provided the property owners
and the tenants with information about emergency housing.

The property owners face up to $5,000 in fines and a misdemeanor
criminal conviction if they fail to address the violations found at the

Anyone who has a complaint about an overcrowding situation in the
county is encouraged to call the Overcrowding Hotline at 703-737-8190.

Or visit my website if you have Zoning Complaints

* Guide to zoning enforcement to let you know how to use the
following form:

* Alleged Zoning Violation Form for reporting residential
overcrowding or zoning violations (click on the title at this url)
Sterling Gets Parking Districts to Fight Overcrowding

* Board of Supervisors action item explains the process to get a
parking district

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