Loophole Allows Davis Property Owners to Build ‘Mini Dorms’

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DAVIS -- The City of Davis has passed an emergency ordinance designed to close a loophole in planning rules that allowed property owners to build so-called mini-dorms in residential neighborhoods.

The projects increase the size of homes and often add multiple bathrooms without increasing the number of bedrooms. The city has rules that closely examine renovations of over five bedrooms to control having tight student housing in residential neighborhoods.

Homeowner Jim Carr has such a home that is now two stories tall peering into his property.  Plans filed with the city show that a large living and a large great room were added along with 5 bathrooms.

“It was technically within the regulation…they gave them a permit,” said Carr.

Davis Mayor, Brett Lee says he feels some property owners are “gaming” the rules.

“Creates this sort of mega home and squishes ten to twenty students into what is supposed to be a single family residential neighborhood,” said Lee.

The new rules call for an intensive review with input from neighbors if a renovation is larger than 40 percent of the original structure and if it adds a second floor.


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