HAMDEN -- It’s a "strange"” time for Hamden residents and Quinnipiac students, who say town-university relations are rocky.
Leslie Creane, Hamden’s town planner, hopes to fix that with the "College Town District," an idea unveiled at a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting this week.
Creane says it's very preliminary, but the district could be encased between Woodruff Street, Whitney Avenue, New Road and Renshaw Road. It would restrict students from living outside these boundaries unless they rent houses grandfathered in.
The goal is to get students back on campus, said Creane. She said the residential area in the vicinity of QU wasn't built for their demographic and that off-campus housing has increased "significantly" in the last decade.
Some who no longer live in the dorms aren't in favor of the idea.
"If students want to live off campus, it’s all part of the experience of becoming more independent as an adult, so I don’t think that’s really fair," said Allie Penta, a senior who lives on New Road.
"There’s nowhere else that you can say, 'Oh you can’t live here because you’re this type of person.' You know, 'You go to this school, you can't live here.' That’s kind of not that fair if you ask me. So I can see that causing a lot of problems. It’s going to create more of a division if there isn't already one now," said Luke Pereira, another senior on New Road.
The tension he mentions is evident in the comment section of this QU editorial, where a student calls on Hamden residents to embrace that it's a college town.
Outraged residents fired back about loud parties, trash and public urination. One woman wrote "We will be happy to treat them like adults if they act like adults."
Matthew Parese, a Hamden resident, doesn't think his young neighbors are that bad. In fact, he can’t imagine them moving. "They also bring a lot to the community. A lot of money, a lot of other things. I know the delis here are much busier when they’re in session," said Parese. "They do more good than bad I think."
Creane said the College Town District will be discussed again at the Planning and Zoning Commission's first meeting in April.