At Large Council Representative Jeff Fusco and Council President Garry Moneypenny offered a resolution during Monday's council meeting to place a 120-day moratorium on City incentives for new student housing developments while research on off-campus student housing is conducted. The resolution, which passed unanimously, prevents the city from offering any incentives for development and/or construction of student housing. (Please click on the headline to read the full story.)
It includes a request that the city's Department of Planning and Urban Development work in cooperation with the University Park Alliance to complete a study that ascertains how much student housing is appropriate for Akron. In the last two years, 1,975 new student beds have been added, and some developers and council members have expressed concerns about there being too much new housing.
During the 120-day moratorium, developers can still develop property, but no city incentives will be provided.
"While we seek to promote and encourage development, we have to be attentive to the significant growth of off-campus student development in the past few years," noted Mayor Don Plusquellic. "We want appropriate development of student housing facilities, but we also need to make sure there is demand for additional off-campus housing, adequate parking, public transportation, retail venues and entertainment opportunities to serve this expanding student population."
"We proposed this resolution on the heels of significant growth and expansion of the University and its off-campus housing," said Fusco. "We recognize the need for safe and modern student housing, and we'll continue to welcome and support development. Our objective is solely to obtain the knowledge necessary to make sound decisions regarding downtown development."