The city’s zoning commission on Wednesday threw its support behind homeowners on two more blocks near Texas Christian University who want protection from so-called stealth dorms.
A group of residents living in the 2500 block of Rogers Avenue initiated the request for a zoning change after a 1,300-square-foot home on their block was sold to developers and is now being replaced by a two-story, 4,500-square-foot, 10-bedroom residence to be rented to TCU students.
The residents also asked that an adjacent block of Wabash Avenue, in the University West neighborhood, also be changed from “B,” which allows for two-family structures and small multifamily complexes, to “A-5,” or single-family. The current zoning on the blocks has been in place since the 1940s.
The two blocks are also the closest to campus that did not get the full protection of the TCU Residential Overlay adopted in December of 2014, designed to halt the construction of large rental structures in residential neighborhoods. The City Council is scheduled to vote on the case Tuesday.
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Becky Fetty, who led the push for the zoning change, returned to the commission Wednesday with a dozen more signatures supporting the request, including several from properties that are investor-owned. The case was continued a month after one commissioner asked the group to obtain more signatures.
Diane Sturdivant, who lives across from the stealth dorm that’s under construction, said the block has slowly changed from the charming neighborhood she remembers when she moved in 19 years ago.
“We’re all very disturbed at the structure,” Sturdivant said. “It’s not the neighborhood I moved into anymore. It’s more for investors. I strongly want to preserve the homes in the neighborhood.”
The TCU Residential Overlay lowered to three from five the number of unrelated adults who can live in houses in neighborhoods zoned for single-family housing near the campus. The ordinance exempts property owners that already had been renting to more than three people, but they had to register the home with the city. The exemption lasts until the property’s use is changed.