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UConn Town Passes Moratorium on Apartment Development

Apartment Development

Digested from “Apartment development moratorium could be turning point for off-campus housing” in The Daily Campus (9/9/16) by Armstrong, Kimberly

The University of Connecticut is located in the small town of Mansfield, Connecticut. In early September, the Mansfield Planning and Zoning Commission passed a nine-month moratorium on new apartment community development. The purpose of this freeze is to give the commission time to update the town’s multifamily housing regulations to bring them in line with the commission’s Plan of Conservation and Development.

The development freeze could delay construction of a nearby apartment community for up to two years. “With the type of housing that we’re talking about, you have a very limited window in which to lease up,” Susan Hays says on behalf of housing developer Wilmorite. “If you miss that window, you basically lose an entire year.”

Bill Roe, co-founder of the Mansfield Neighborhood Preservation Group, supports the moratorium because he’s concerned about the number of UConn students moving into off-campus housing. “Our main concern is the amount of rentals that have been moving into family-friendly neighborhoods. It’s basically very disrupting, and there’s getting to be an imbalance in the neighborhoods.”

Roe says the number of students living in off-campus, including single-family homes has grown significantly over the past five or six years, causing increased traffic and disruption in quiet neighborhoods. “The big solution to this is to have UConn house their students again,” he says.

However, Undergraduate Student Government President Dan Byrd says this ongoing freeze on multifamily housing developments could result in more students moving into single-family rentals in Mansfield. “I do think that increasing the number of managed apartment complexes in this town, especially if you add the exemption from the three or four [unrelated residents] rule, would draw students out from single-family houses,” Byrd says.

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