City Council Approves College Area Mini Dorms Ordinance

College students from San Diego State, attended a City Council meeting Monday by the busloads, in opposition of two separate ordinances on mini dorms in the College Area

The San Diego City Council voted 6 to 3 Tuesday to end the development of so-called mini-dorms in College Area neighborhoods near San Diego State University.

City Council officials held an 11-hour meeting that ended at 1 a.m. Tuesday. In the end, they approved legislation that includes limiting the number of bedrooms in new construction.

Homes will be strictly capped between five to six rooms depending on the size of a home. Parking is also more strict and there will be greater enforcement for homeowners who violate the rules.

No more than five bedrooms will be allowed in lots with less than 10,000 square feet. Lots larger than that will be permitted to have no more than six parking spots.

A bedroom is defined as any room with a door or that would be designed to have a door.

Also, the maximum fine for code violations will be increased to $10,000 a day to be paid by the homeowner, not the tenant.

Residents in favor of the new rule changes said the mini dorms are getting out of control and are changing the community in favor for students who live in the area for a brief period of time.

"There's no room for the parking, backyards are paved over and basically a family will never be able to buy that property again," said homeowner Susan Hopps-Tatum.

Students were concerned not only about the cost of housing but about the possible fines for violating the new rules.

"When students can't afford housing, they can't afford an education," said student Dylan Colliflower.

"I don't know anybody actually that would be able to be fined $10,000 and would be able to stay in school and continue pursuing their degree," said student Harrison Baum.

But homeowners said the constant noise and partying is too much, and they want their neighborhood back.

“The onus really needs to be put on SDSU, not on the residents in the single family neighborhoods to absorb the extra students in the community," said Hopps-Tatum.

The regulations will not apply to existing mini dorms, but would prevent future construction projects as well as any new conversions to single family homes. All the existing mini dorms would be grandfathered in.

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