Residents Voice Concerns Over Santa Clara "Mini Dorms"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Santa Clara residents packed a city council meeting Tuesday frustrated over what is being called a mini dorms from moving into their neighborhood. Kimberly Tere reports. (Published Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014)

    Santa Clara residents packed a city council meeting Tuesday frustrated over what is being called "mini dorm" projects moving into their neighborhood.

    Many residents have urged city leaders to stop a home remodel on Park Avenue they fear will turn into housing for students at nearby Santa Clara University. About a hundred residents attended Tuesday's meeting to voice their concerns.

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    "I love Santa Clara, but on the other hand when you get 12 or 15 students together and the party is going on in the middle of the night, it can be a problem in a neighborhood," resident Mark Kelsey said.

    Neighbors said the Park Avenue home remodel is just one of many across the city being converted into mini dorms.

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    Other concerns over the mini dorms include parking, traffic and noise.

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    "It seems like developers have more say with the process than residents do and that's really what we are asking for," Kelsey said. "That the residents have a voice in changes in development in the neighborhood."

    City planners, however, said the buyer in the Park Avenue remodel is within zoning laws. Officials also said the city can't limit the number of bedrooms -- only the size of the home.

    Neighbors are notified of remodeling plans if a second story is added.

    The council in response to residents' concerns adopted two motions -- forming a committee to create new rules regulating multi-tenant rentals and planning commission approval will be needed for any future home remodels that increases the number of bedrooms to four or more.

    NBC Bay Area's Jean Elle contributed to this report.