Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Student Housing Moratorium

One thing I’ve mentioned in my campaign is a moratorium on rezoning for student housing. That’s not an anti-student stance, or even an anti-housing stance. Here’s what it means.

There are more student apartments in Harrisonburg right now than there are students. There will be for at least ten years, and for longer than that if developers build more.

We can’t flat out ban student housing, but we can stop rezoning more land for it.

The question nobody has answered about new student housing is this: Who moves into the old housing? If a development on South Main draws a thousand renters, who’s going to move into the empty apartments on Port Road? Will it be young men wanting to live closer to campus? Will it be families who can’t afford to live anywhere else? If the changes produce new costs for the city, who pays for them?

Those answers are a time bomb for Harrisonburg. We should stop rezoning land for new townhouses and apartments. We have plenty of that kind of housing in Harrisonburg, and the people building it have plenty of money.

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