Jan 17, 2014
06:32 AMConnecticut Today
Quinnipiac University's Growth Has Hamden Officials Thinking Building Ban
HAMDEN--Quinnipiac University’s rapid expansion has residents talking about the changing dynamics of their neighborhoods and the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission is considering a temporary moratorium on building.
Commission members discussed an amendment to allow for more time to assess problem areas like off-campus housing and have proposed drafting a one-year-moratorium, which could prohibit expansions at Quinnipiac and all colleges and universities, with the exception of state schools such as Southern Connecticut State University.
Quinnipiac is the only college in Hamden.
“The town is looking for our local higher education institutions to be leaders and work with us to improve residential neighborhoods being negatively affected by student housing,” said Curt Leng, the town’s chief administrative officer. “Speaking of Quinnipiac University specifically, they have an opportunity to help improve our residential quality of life and the standing in the community. I am hopeful that through diligent and consistent communicating and problem solving, that togther we can address this problem head-on.”
Quinnipiac University Vice President of Public Affairs John Morgan declined to comment.
The proposed draft by the commission, in parts, states, “(1) with the exception of dormitories, any new construction, expansion or renovation of all buildings and facilities requiring approval of a special permit or major amendment to a special permit and (2) new student housing zoning permits for off-campus student housing owned by a college or university.”
The proposed moratorium may be removed prior to the end of the one-year period by an amendment to the Zoning Regulations, according to the draft amendment. If the commission approves the amendment’s new language, the draft will be submitted for a public hearing this year.
A major issue for members of the commission was the increase in student enrollment and lack of space on Quinnipiac’s campuses, according to town documents. The documents cite problems arose from the use of off-campus housing and the “change in dynamics of the neighborhoods.”
Salvatore Filardi, vice president for facilities and capital planning for Quinnipiac, said student enrollment totaled 6,307 for the 2013-14 school year; the number of beds on campus total 5,011, leaving approximately 1,300 students to seek off-campus housing, according to town documents.