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Quinnipiac files lawsuit against town of Hamden

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HAMDEN — Quinnipiac University recently filed a lawsuit against the town of Hamden and the the dorms are the main point of contention.

When the university planned an expansion back in 2007, the town created a requirement that the school provide on campus housing for all students. The town wanted to prevent additional students from living on local roads, throwing loud parties next to homes of families who are trying to sleep.

The town ruled in May that Quinnipiac violated that requirement, because it does not have enough beds in its dorms to house every student who attends class at the school. The town said it would fine the school $150 per day until it received approval to build more housing.

The school tried to appeal that decision (and the fine)– but the town denied the appeal. The lawsuit filed this month is taking the appeal to the next level.

The town says the school is in violation because it does not have beds for 100 percent of its students.

In the lawsuit, obtained by Fox CT, Quinnipiac says it is not in violation because it provides beds for 100 percent of the students who want to live on campus.

Now the court will decide if the school or the town’s opinion about ‘100 percent’ is correct.

“In denying the plaintiff’s appeal of the [Zoning Enforcement Officer] decision, the defendant, the [Zonbing Board of Appeals], acted illegally, arbitrarily and in abuse of the discretion vested in it by law as an administrative agency,” Quinnipiac’s lawsuit said.

“In Connecticut, state statutes call for an applicant who is appealing a ZBA decision to seek an opinion from Superior Court,” said Lynn Bushnell, vice president for public affairs. “The university is taking this action to adhere to state law.”

The issue is that some students want to live off campus, the school said. There were several on campus dorm rooms that were left empty in the last school year, Quinnipiac said. So the university said it has followed all the town’s requirements.