The smiles of the house at the corner of 25th Street and Indiana Avenue are being wiped away.
An agreement between the City of Lubbock and two people associated with the purple polka-dotted house gives the landlord, Virginia Shuman, two months to repaint the house, covering the smiley faces that adorned the exterior walls.
On Friday, Shuman and Brian Bosworth, a purple house resident and a junior business major from Grand Prairie, both pleaded guilty or no contest to the offense of violating a housing ordinance that restricts more than two unrelated persons living together.
The city issued a citation to the tenants that required them to pay a fine or move out in October 2003. When the tenants did not, the case was set for criminal trial on April 13. The trial is no longer needed as the two parties reached an agreement.
According to the deferred agreement, Shuman was fined $107. Before June 2, Shuman also must "paint the exterior of the subject house located at 3318 25th St., Lubbock, Texas, in a manner harmonious with the general development of the single-family residential district in which it is located."
Bill Davis, brother of Shuman, said the house will be painted taupe.
"I do intend to paint it its original color," he said. "We don't know whether we will move in, sell it or rent it to 20 related students."
The agreement also says, "an inspection of the subject premises by a Codes Enforcement Officer shall be permitted for purposes of verifying compliance, and a record of that verification shall be filed with the Court."
Bosworth must pay a $107 fine that he said will be split between the four residents of the house. The fine could have been worse, Bosworth said, as the maximum fine is $2,000 each day the ordinance is violated.
Mixed emotions surround the agreement as Bosworth said continuous publicity throughout the past eight months has taken its toll.
"It would've been great if we would've won," Bosworth said. "I'm so tired of this thing. We're just tired of it."
Although the housing ordinance did not get changed, a point was made that people are concerned with the issue.
"We'd still like to see it changed for the betterment of future Tech students," Bosworth said. "The message couldn't be anymore clearer that all Tech students and most Lubbock residents are together that the ordinance is absolutely ridiculous."
There has not been much discussion among the residents of the purple house regarding the next step. Bosworth said while it is undecided whether the tenants will move home for the summer, they are not going down without a fight.
"We're not just going to put our tails between our legs and walk away," he said.
Davis said plans to continue fighting the ordinance are being kept a secret.
"We're going to continue to fight for student rights to live where they want to," he said. "It doesn't mean we're giving up. We've got some plans for next fall."
When asked whether he would be selling the house, Davis declined to comment.
"We haven't decided what we're going to do yet," he said.
There were many reasons to reach an agreement and avoid the April 13 trial date, Davis said.
"My sister got sick and was unable to go to court," he said.
The well being of the tenants also was taken into consideration. Davis said the four students were just trying to go to school.
Lubbock City Prosecutor Dan T. Saluri said he is restricted from commenting on the case. City Councilman for District 3 Gary Boren the outcome of the case is what he expected.
"The ordinance held up to do what its supposed to do," he said. "We felt like we had the facts on our side."
Boren said the focus could now be altered toward doing things to help families in the neighborhoods.
"I'm glad it has ended," he said. "There will always be those who disagree. But our ordinance is intended to preserve single-family residences."