“Stealth dorm” registration complete

By Sierra Tuthill

The overlay district for the neighborhoods surrounding TCU is locked in now that the registration period for exemptions to the new zoning restrictions has passed.

The neighborhoods surrounding TCU have 649 registered homes that can be leased by up to five unrelated people, according to the city.

The registration period, set when the TCU overlay district was created last year, ended March 31. Under the special zoning restriction, property owners who are not registered with the city can rent to no more than three unrelated people.

The overlay district was proposed last summer after neighbors complained that “stealth dorms” housing up to five unrelated students were threatening the character of their communities.

The exemption was created to accommodate existing property owners who were already leasing their properties to multiple students.

TCU student body president-elect, Maddie Reddick, attended a meeting with the mayor, two council members and multiple landlords. She said the student voice was not being represented at the meetings.

There were many concerns from students about rising rent prices and moving farther away from campus, so Reddick and other members of student congress began a petition against the overlay that generated over 1,000 signatures.

They gathered student anecdotes, passed a resolution in favor of a grandfathering compromise, and invited city council members to campus.

Reddick and senior Alex Cohen, Speaker of the House, represented the students’ zoning commission at city council meetings and mediation meetings between the city, neighbors, landlords, the TCU administration and students.

After two months of mediation, they agreed to allow existing homes to continue to be leased to up to five unrelated people as long the property owner registered them. No additional homes can be built for this purpose.

“We were very excited by this compromise, which served the interests of the students and all interested parties,” said Reddick.

In response to neighbor’s concerns about student behavior, Cohen and Reddick passed a resolution in support of a Good Neighbor program for better relations between TCU students and the community.

Sierra Tuthill is the zoning reporter for The 109. Email her at [email protected]