I received a couple of notes this morning from readers who wanted to chime in on the mini-dorm debate.

College Area homeowners haven’t always felt so overwhelmed by their proximity to college students, says a reader who grew up in the SDSU area in the ’40s and ’50s.

Everyone enjoyed, and respected, the college students who were pursuing their goals and willing to work hard to better themselves … and who occasionally had fraternity stunts such as pledges pushing a car blindfolded down the street at 10 p.m. The neighbors would come out to see what the commotion was all about and everyone had a good laugh and went back to bed. And, when the fraternities used to “serenade” a sorority it was a big event … word passed quickly. It was fun … and lovely. Any trouble, which was rare, was dealt with severely and swiftly.

The reader, whose mother was a “house mother” for one of the fraternity houses – baking cookies, checking on the “fellas” – says the turning point was when SDSU started allowing alcohol in fraternity and sorority houses, despite the fact that college students are usually both underage and on their own for the first time.

The SDSU neighborhood and many San Diego area citizens in general were outraged … but to no avail. Now you have the mess that exists today … as intelligent rational people predicted and tried to convey.

Reader RM wants to know if the city’s development services department has anything to say about the mini-dorm issue. Here’s a link to a report to the City Council from the city planners. The report clarifies the definition of a bedroom. That, in turn, helps to clarify the municipal code’s policy on the number of parking spots required for houses in relation to number of bedrooms.

The report is in response to this memo to the mayor and City Council from Councilman Jim Madaffer, outlining 12 issues of concern raised at a town hall meeting in September.

As far as I’ve heard, the next official meeting to discuss this issue will be in February. I’ll keep you posted.

And, if you want to further the mini-dorm dialogue, here’s a link to the Reader’s Forum topic.

KELLY BENNETT

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