Off-campus housing in Belleville causing issues for homeowners -

Off-campus housing in Belleville causing issues for homeowners

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People in Belleville are upset over students moving into their neighborhood.

More students going to Lindenwood University’s Belleville campus, causing housing options to be limited. Some students live off-campus and that has many homeowners upset.

“Some of my friends live in the houses and it's different because there are people living in between people that don't go to the school,” says Lindenwood University student Molly Price.

A homeowner who lives on a street near students voiced her frustration to News 4.

“There is traffic all day and all night, there's cars parked everywhere. You can't park in front of your own house,” Amy Bruemmer said.

Steve Queen with Lindenwood says since 2003, the university has invested over $20 million in the community.

“After we are done paying the purchase price, we spend another $10,000 to $35,000 getting it up to code and Lindenwood standards. So there is a significant reinvestment and improvement in the neighborhood after we purchase a home,” Steve Queen said.

The university bought 35 homes to use for student housing, but it didn’t get special permits to allow it. That’s why there are signs in front of every house owned by the university to notify the public of a zoning meeting for the university to request those permits.

“At least half of them are completely occupied by the students and probably say if they are occupied by the students, they are occupied by more than what is legally required by the current zoning law,” said resident Noah Bruemmer.

Current city ordinance allows the school to house anywhere from 3 to 16 students in a home, depending on square footage. Brummer and others want that changed to no more than three students per home.

“I believe the students are fine here, as long as we don't have overcrowding,” said Amy Bruemmer.

Bruemmer said the request that will be made by the university to change zoning laws are too little, too late.

“All of that should have been done prior to the students moving in. So unfair? Absolutely. Skirting the law? Yeah I would go as far as to say that,” said Noah Bruemmmer.

The zoning meeting where the request will be made is set for Thursday, September 24 at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council chambers. City Council will have the final whether to approve or deny the universities special permit requests.

Lindenwood University told News 4 it wants to be a good neighbor. 

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