Push for mini-dorm crackdown in College Area - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Push for mini-dorm crackdown in College Area

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Mini-dorms have been a big issue in places like the College Area and Pacific Beach and San Diego residents are pushing for an unprecedented new law to crackdown on them.

Of the estimated 4,000 single family homes in the College Area RS neighborhoods, 813 have been identified as mini-dorms. The problem is that the number of conversions has grown explosively, most of the recent conversions are for high occupancy rentals, and the demand is growing.

In 2007, the city adopted two ordinances: 1) restrict the number of boarders permitted in a single family residence and 2) regulate the number of cars per residence.

The ordinances had little success.

As enrollment numbers go up at San Diego State University, so has the number of occupants and mini-dorms.

"We have lived here since 1955. The mini-dorms have taken over. It's better than it was few years ago, but there's still traffic, some noise, some problems," said area resident Jerry Picciotti.

While mini-dorms are concentrated in streets closest to SDSU, they are spread throughout the College Area, and recently are proliferating into neighborhoods south of El Cajon Boulevard, including Rolando and El Cerrito.

More than 20-percent of all College Area homes are now considered mini-dorms.

A new City Council plan calls for special approval for homes with more than four bedrooms, on-site managers for problem houses, limits on parking to avoid sidewalk issues, and minimum square-footage for rooms based on the size of the home.

"I don’t see how they are oing to be able to come up with good rules that will keep homes from being taken over and subdivided. They may be able to limit the people in each house, but it will be hard to enforce, I think," said area resident John Bestoso.


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