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Letter to the editor: Afton aimed to protect families all along

I read your editorial on the issue of mother-in-law apartments in Afton. When you write "In this day and age when health care becomes evermore costly and unwieldy, and families are forced to make hard decisions" you are precisely correct. The purpose of these discussions was to facilitate multi-generational living, not to "put up additional roadblocks" as you mention. As an Afton City Council member I want to ensure our residents have the ability to create a multi-generational living arrangement that will work for them and their families, and had hoped to see positive changes (if necessary) to facilitate these options. It was brought to my attention that the process can be confusing in terms of what is allowed and what isn't. I find it unlikely that the language allowing infirmed family members to live in manufactured homes as temporary living units is a solution most residents would embrace.

There was never any discussion or intent to limit the ability to have a family member move in, and frankly I do not see how any limits could ever be placed on an individual's right to have their parents move in with them. Nor should there be. This was about ensuring adequate options are available when an extra bedroom might not be enough. Creating easy to understand definitions and guidelines when separate kitchens and bathrooms would be the best option was the ultimate goal. How we offer those options while respecting the views of those who worry about a proliferation of prohibited rental units was the central question. In reading this, some might come away with the idea that we were doing exactly the opposite, trying to make it harder for parents and grandparents to be cared for in the home. From my point of view, nothing could be further from the truth.

Bill Palmquist - Afton