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City Council Considers Solutions to “Mini-Dorm” Problems

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Aired 4/19/09

A San Diego City Council committee spent more than two hours talking about ways of regulating "mini-dorms" Wednesday.  Mini-dorms are single-family homes rented to multiple college students. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce has details.

The council's Land Use and Housing Committee considered several options, including parking restrictions, to cut down on rowdy behavior by some college students living near San Diego State University. Residents near SDSU say loud parties, late-night yelling and parking problems are changing the quality of their family neighborhoods. The residents blame it on "mini-dorms" which are typically homes owned by absentee landlords and rented to college students. City Councilman Jim Madaffer says the homes are often modified to pack in more students.

Jim Madaffer: It's just when these enterprising people decide to take a den and make it a bedroom. Take a garage and separate it with dividing walls and turn that into three or four bedrooms. Clearly uses which are against health and safety codes.

Madaffer's district includes the College Area. The council committee takes up the issue again in February.  Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

(Photo: Students' cars fill the driveway and a paved-over yard at a "mini-dorm" in the College area. Tobin Vaughn/KPBS. )

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