Hamden Extends Ban on New Off-Campus Student Housing

The Hamden Planning & Zoning Commission passed two measures Tuesday designed to help the city deal with the growing number of Quinnipiac University students living off campus.

The commission decided to extend a temporary ban on new student housing permits for another six months. The original moratorium called for a one-year ban.

The commission also voted to require colleges and universities to file five-year master plans for student housing.

A number of local landlords attended the meeting and argued against the extension.

One landlord, Margaret Kramer, said she has a home ready to rent to students but has been unable to get a permit because of the moratorium.

"What have we done in the last year that we need another six months to complete? What is the six months going to do other than prevent people that own properties to rent them?" said Kramer.

Town officials said housing permits have increased 350 percent over the past decade, with off-campus space now allocated for 900 Quinnipiac University students.

Town leaders said the students can sometimes be bad neighbors when it comes to noise problems, property maintenance and the overall quality of life.

"There were lots of late-night parties and we would wake up the next day and find broken glass beer bottles, and there was noise and more garbage on the lawn, so we complained to the landlord," said Hamden resident Alexis Thorne.

The commission said it needs to keep the permit stop for another six months to continue updating its zoning regulations.

Some residents agreed with the decision.

"You definitely need more time to go through this. It’s a very hot issue and I know this is only an extension," said resident Cindy Civitello.

At least one student showed up at the meeting saying he felt students had been left out of the process and were being stereotyped.

"I’ve seen students behaving inappropriately. I do not believe the actions of a handful of students reflect on the entire campus," said Quinnipiac junior Mark Boulas.

Landlords said this permit fight isn’t over and are considering legal action.

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