QU sues Hamden in appeal attempt

Staff Reports

The university is suing Hamden to appeal the town’s decision to fine Quinnipiac for not having enough housing on campus, according to court records.

Hamden’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) ruled in May that the university is in violation of a 2007 condition linked to the building of the York Hill campus. The condition requires the university to “guarantee its full-time undergraduate students four years of on-campus housing by providing sufficient dormitories to accommodate the full-time undergraduate population on campus.”

Quinnipiac argued it is not violating this condition because it had more than 270 empty beds last academic year, but agreed to submit a proposal for 300 additional beds on on the York Hill campus. Yet, the university also filed a lawsuit with the Superior Court in New Haven in June to appeal the ZBA’s ruling.

“In Connecticut, state statutes call for an applicant who is appealing a ZBA decision to seek an opinion from Superior Court,” Vice President for Public Affairs Lynn Bushnell said in a statement. “The university is taking this action to adhere to state law.”

Because the university lost the first appeal back in May, it is facing a $150 fine each day to the town until it gets approval to build more beds.

At the May ZBA meeting, university and town officials agreed it would be “unrealistic” for Quinnipiac to have beds for 100 percent of undergraduate students, according to the New Haven Register. The New Haven Register reports that officials agreed that the university should provide beds for 95 percent of undergraduate students, but that the minutes for the meeting do not mention this agreement.

“I stand by our town commission’s ruling,” Mayor Curt Balzano Leng told the New Haven Register.

The university confirmed that Quinnipiac is still planning to submit a proposal for 300 new beds on York Hill.

Stay with The Chronicle for updates.

UPDATE JULY 21: This article was updated to include that the university will still request to build more housing on York Hill.