Mini-dorms are the hot topic today — the “nuisance rental property” homes that house seven or eight students each in the San Diego State University area will be up on the docket of the 2:00 p.m. meeting of the San Diego City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee.

You can read the city staff’s report here. It includes a discussion of nine items originally suggested in November by the same council committee. The suggestions relate to particular parking, noise, law enforcement, and communication issues between the city — including the Police Department — and SDSU.

The staff report does not recommend hiring new personnel for the city to specifically handle the mini-dorm issue, as had been suggested in meetings last fall. It does, however, support the SDSU proposal to add a code enforcement representative to university staff.

Also this afternoon, Mayor Jerry Sanders and the president of SDSU, Stephen Weber, will hold a press conference near the university “to announce substantive steps to be taken by the City and SDSU as part of an on-going effort to alleviate the problems associated with nuisance rental properties,” according to the press announcement for the conference.

I spoke to some students living in the houses near SDSU for a story on this issue in December. From those interviews — though it’s nearly impossible to get a cohesive sense of the hundreds of mini-dorm tenants’ feelings — it seems as if many of the students feel as if they’re between a rock and a hard place on this one. SDSU has only enough housing for about 10 percent of the university’s 30,000-some students. And the students, logically, want to live near their classes and friends.

But a lot of the homeowners who’ve lived in the College Area for decades want their neighborhoods to return to the more peaceful, family-oriented neighborhoods that existed there when SDSU was a lot smaller. They don’t want to deal with college students urinating or vomiting on their lawns when they’re congregating in a house for a late-night party.


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