Zoning change would allow more student housing in NE South Bend

The fight is on to keep South Bend’s north east neighborhood family friendly.

Some are concerned about a proposal that would open the door for five more student rental homes in the area.

“When somebody actually owns those homes and it’s a single family dwelling for them, there’s an effort that’s taken to maintain that property to make sure the yard is looking nice, it’s that connection to the community we feel single home ownership brings to the table,” said Tim Sexton, President of the North East Neighborhood Revitalization Organization.

The request comes at a time when nearly 40 new single family homes are being built in the Triangle Development south of Eddy Street Commons.

Some of the proposed student rentals lie along Talbot Street, just a couple of blocks south of Triangle.

“It’s not something we support as an organization. We have been for 15 years, for 15 years now, looking at revitalizing this north east neighborhood and one of the major focusses from day one has been single family home ownership in the neighborhood,” said Tim Sexton.

Robert Fulce has lived on Talbot Street for eight years now. He feels that the students have had a positive impact on the neighborhood. “For those that have families, I can understand their point of view, but by the college students being here, the housing had to be brought up to date so a lot of the homes that might have gotten missed before by the present owners or whatever, they're getting fixed up now,” said Fulce.

Members of the St. Joseph County Area Plan Commission will have the final say. A request to rezone five separate properties from single family, to multi-family dwellings will go before the panel at a meeting set for Tuesday of next week.

The properties in question are 837 Miner, 1042 Miner, 1012 Talbot, 1021 and 1023 Talbot, and 1104 Bissell.

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