Fort Worth City Council, 109 homeowners reach compromise on TCU overlay

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The Fort Worth City Council settled the “stealth dorms” issue Tuesday night by limiting the number of unrelated adults who can live in a single-family home.

The Council unanimously voted to lower the number from five to three.

District 3 City Councilman W.B. “Zim” Zimmerman, who represents part of the 109,  said that he was at a loss of words for how well the city of Fort Worth came together to handle the matter.

“A war could have been the outcome of the TCU Overlay issue,” Zimmerman said.  “However, everyone seems to be a winner because the community leaders and residents involved handled the situation so well with an understanding for both parties and the future of Fort Worth.”

The issue has been under discussion in the 109 neighborhoods surrounding TCU, with homeowners complaining of problems caused by college students who rented in residential neighborhoods.  Residents called the houses rented out to students “stealth dorms” and complained about noise, litter, late-night partying and parking congestion.

Council required property owners to register homes rented to students by March 31.  The proposal before the Council represented a compromise between current property owners, who wanted homes now rented to students to be grandfathered in to allow for more tenants, and 109-area homeowners.

 District 9 Councilmember Ann Zadeh, who also represents part of the 109, said she hopes the compromise helps.

Mayor Betsy Price said councilmembers could revisit the issue in a year if it doesn't work.

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