Critics Call Belleville Occupancy Limits Ordinance Racist

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

BELLEVILLE, IL (KPLR)-- There is controversy in Belleville over a city ordinance some critics call racist and un-American. But Belleville officials say they're just trying to keep people safe and prevent crime.

Belleville officials want to limit the number of people who can live in rental apartments. In some cases that means the city would like to look at birth certificates of some children.

Belleville has a problem, too many people often packed into tiny rental apartments leading to problems ranging from drugs to traffic.

Belleville aldermen voted 15 to 1 Tuesday night to table the proposal and rework the language.  The proposal was slated to limit the number of people who can live in an apartment. In case someone has a child or adopts a child, the city will demand to see the birth certificate.

Supporters say it’s not racism, it’s crime and unsafe conditions they object to. But the birth certificate part has opponents up in arms.

The state of Illinois does not have any statewide occupancy limits.