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How Other Cities Are Addressing Stealth Dorms

Austin is not unique to the devastation stealth dorms have had on local neighborhoods. A 2008 study on college towns demonstrates this problem and what other towns have done to limit its negative impact.  For example, at the urgency by neighborhoods in Bryan, that city reduced occupancy limits to four unrelated single adults per residence.  Additionally, these neighborhoods formed conservation districts to prevent further development of dorm-style housing.  San Marcos and Lubbock went further and limited residential occupancy to two unrelated individuals per residence. The average occupancy rate in college towns is 3.5 unrelated individuals.

“College towns most often need to enact some form of occupancy limit ordinance for either of two reasons: 1) safety 2) maintaining affordable housing for all community residents. (No [or few] limits on the number of unrelated occupants allowed in a dwelling unit can raise home prices in college towns out of the reach of families and singles/couples, since homes in college towns often sell for ten times the amount of possible yearly rental income).”

Download a comparison of college town occupancy limits (pdf)

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