Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Student Housing Ordinance

Proposed College Student Housing Ordinances – Public Meeting on Monday, August 16

On July 15, I attended the very long Planning Commission meeting regarding the two proposed township student housing ordinances. The proposed ordinances were reviewed by the Planning Commission at their public meeting and will be the subject of a hearing at the Board of Supervisors public meeting on Monday, August 16. If the proposed ordinances are passed, they will be instituted township-wide.

However, the focus of the attention has been on the Mt. Pleasant community and their ongoing struggles with student housing. Many Mt. Pleasant residents attended the Planning Commission and expressed their concerns in regards to student housing and the need for ordinances that can be enforced. The Planning Commissioners listened and came up with very strict guidelines for the proposed ordinances.

To review the draft zoning ordinance amendment, click here.

To review the draft registration ordinance, click here.

In advance of the public meeting on Monday, I received the following email from Donna Shipman, a resident of Mt. Pleasant encouraging her neighbors to attend. As Donna reminds us, the student housing rentals is not just a Mt. Pleasant issue but rather it is a township-wide issue. I support Donna and the Mt. Pleasant community as they face the challenges of student rentals in their neighborhood.

I just wanted to remind everyone that on Monday Aug 16, 2010 at BOS Public meeting the College ordinance along with the Registration ordinance will be debated and voting on. I am asking that you please send out a reminder to your neighbors and friends encouraging them to attend the 7:30 PM meeting.
We still have issues with the 2 pending ordinances and we need for the BOS to see that this is NOT A MT PLEASANT ONLY ISSUE but a Tredyffrin Township issue. You did such a wonderful job at the Planning Commission hearing I am hoping for a repeat.
Please pass the word about the meeting and let me know if you require further information on the matter. Please note that the pending amendment ordinances are out on the Township’s website.
Thank you in advance for your continued support!
Donna B. Shipman
Block Captain – Mt Pleasant Ave.

Student Housing Zoning Ordinance & Student Registration Ordinance Takes the Next Step . . . Planning Commission to Review on Thursday

Based on direction from the supervisors at the June Board of Supervisors meeting, the prospective student housing zoning ordinance takes it next step this week . . . it moves to the Planning Commission. The draft zoning ordinance amendment will be reviewed at the Planning Commission’s July 15 public meeting and at the Board of Supervisors’ August 16 public meeting. According to the township website:

The Zoning Ordinance amendment establishes a new use that the ordinance will regulate called “Student Home”; and permits this use in the R- ½, R-1, R-2, R-3 and R-4 zoning districts by special exception approval. Special exception approval means that the use, in each instance, needs to be approved by the Tredyffrin Township Zoning Hearing Board. The draft amendment establishes criteria that must be met before the Zoning Hearing Board can authorize the special exception approval.

In addition to the student housing zoning ordinance, there is a separate ordinance concerning college students living in the township – Registration Ordinance This proposed ordinance would enact a new Chapter 151, Property Registration for student rental units, to provide for a register of contact information regarding student rental units. The parameters surrounding the registration of students living in Tredyffrin may have interesting ramifications.

Although the proposed Zoning Ordinance and Registration Ordinance would be in effect for the entire township; the focus of attention has centered on student housing issues in the Mt. Pleasant community. The Mt. Pleasant Civic Association has sent out the following email asking for support at the Planning Commission Workshop meeting. If you have an interest in the regulation of student housing in Tredyffrin, I would encourage you to attend the meeting on Thursday night.

“Your support is needed!
Tredyffrin Township’s Planning Commission will be discussing the pending registration ordinance for college housing within our township on Thursday, July 15, 7:30 PM . . .
The ordinance in its current form is weak and it needs allot of teeth in it to be effective. We want the BOS and the Zoning Board to mirror Radnor’s college housing ordinance. Radnor’s ordinance is strong and it has teeth in it that our Police department and Township can use to enforce the ordinance. The BOS feels that the college housing issue is only an issue in the Mt Pleasant Community so we are in need of your support to show BOS that the ordeal of the college housing is a township issue that effects the entire Tredyffrin Community.
Without your support and attendance at this meeting (and the upcoming BOS meeting for the second part of the ordinance) the ordinance may pass with alot of holes in it and we don’t want that! We want them to get it right the first time. By a show of members from the Community we will show them that the whole Tredyffrin Community is watching and will hold them accountable for their inactive or specifically their lack of real action.
On behalf of the Mt Pleasant Civic Association and Mt Pleasant Community we want to thank you in advance for your continued support. . . “
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