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Jim Thorpe zoning draft removes "Functional Families" section

A controversial zoning ordinance in the borough of Jim Thorpe may be removed later this year. The council member that questioned the code said a committee has agreed to amend a draft.

Earlier this week, Jim Thorpe Councilmember Jessica Crowley said a property law that was adopted by the borough in 2021 is expected to be removed in this year’s updated zoning code.

"I feel confident that ... we’re not going to have to fight too hard against legislation that could be considered discriminatory," she said.

Crowley was vocal about some of Jim Thorpe’s zoning laws when they were brought before the borough for an overhaul last year.

She wanted to change language around a code titled “functional families,” which stated that groups of unrelated people living together have “a detrimental effect on residential neighborhoods.”

That code was adopted before Crowley’s time as a council member and she rallied to have the new zoning law removed, asking the public to weigh in.

She’s not on the zoning update committee but attends its meetings.

After Monday’s zoning meeting, Crowley said the committee removed the “functional families” language from the newest draft.

The committee still wants to cap households of unrelated roommates, she said, but that number was raised from 3 people to 5 people.

Though other councilmembers agreed to amend that ordinance, she said, there’s still weeks left of discussion and possible debate before a new set of property laws is finalized.