Student Housing, Dormitories & Neighborhood Quality of Life

Colleges, universities and other institutions can greatly enhance both the economic and social vitally of a community. However, some aspects of these institutions have lowered quality of life for residents. Student housing and dormitories is one such aspect.

Fortunately our research has shown that the need for student housing can be accommodated without undue impact provided certain siting and design requirements are met. Furthermore, a number of institutions have adopted policies that greatly diminish negative effects of existing student housing.

Whether you’re concerned about existing or proposed student housing, we can help. Contact CEDS at 410-654-3021 or for a no-cost discussion of options for resolving your student housing concerns.

Potential Student Housing Impacts

The negative effects of student housing tend to be greatest where:

  • Dormitories are sited within or next to existing neighborhoods, and
  • Where the institution and/or housing owners fail to provide effective oversight.

The most common negative effects of student housing include:

  • Excessive noise, particularly late at night,
  • Increased traffic volume and speed on neighborhood streets,
  • Loss of parking for other neighborhood residents especially during parties or other student gatherings,
  • Diminished property value,
  • Loss of views due to excessively large buildings,
  • Light trespass caused by poorly shielded outside fixtures, and
  • Littering along with other nuisances.

The CEDS Development Project Impact Assessment Checklist eases the task of assessing student housing effects.

Getting Student Housing Benefits with Fewer Negative Effects

Well planned student housing can add vitality to a neighborhood, make colleges and universities more affordable, and allow students to gain a higher education closer to their families. Reaping these benefits depends upon:

  • Guiding student housing to the right location,
  • Designing the building, parking areas, and other facilities to minimize conflicts, and
  • Providing oversight that minimizes activities detracting from neighborhood quality of life.

Resolving Proposed Student Housing Concerns

If you’re concerned about a proposed project then search for ways of modifying the design to resolve each impact while allowing student housing proponents to achieve their goals. CEDS refers to these modifications as Equitable Solutions.

In most cases an Equitable Solution can be found to each impact. This approach is far less expensive and much more likely of producing success compared to immediately launching into an effort to kill a student housing project.

In those instances where a project is so poorly conceived that impacts cannot be resolved, you’ll find decision-makers more inclined to deny approval if you made a concerted effort to find Equitable Solutions. This is part of the CEDS Smart Legal Strategies approach which triples the chances you can defeat a fatally, flawed project.

Free Assistance for Resolving Student Housing Concerns

CEDS offers many free resources that can guide you through the search for Equitable Solutions and other strategies to preserve your neighborhood or the environment. These resources include the webpages listed to the right and our many free publications. After reading through these materials you’ll no doubt have a number of questions. We would be delighted to help you find answers to your questions. Give us a call at 410-654-3021 and we’ll try to provide answers free of charge provided research on our part is not required.

A number of folks find they lack the time to read through then implement the guidance on their own. Instead, they opt to retain CEDS to perform an Initial Strategy Analysis.

CEDS Initial Strategy Analysis Best Place To Start

For a fee of $800 to $1500 CEDS can analyze your case and identify the most effective strategy for preserving your quality of life. The analysis usually begins with the following steps:

  1. Verify your concerns regarding project impacts by reviewing actual project plans.
  2. Assess the proposal for additional impacts. The CEDS Project Impact Assessment Checklist simplifies this task.
  3. Search for Equitable Solutions that design away each impact while allowing the property owner to achieve their goals. Many of the webpages listed to the right will help you identify possible Equitable Solutions.
  4. Review the criteria for approving the project as set forth in local and state law.
  5. Compile the evidence needed to show that one or more of the criteria cannot be met based upon unresolved impacts.
  6. Research the decision-making history of the body required to approve the project. The goal is to identify factors that prompted past denials. These past examples will help you to increase the likelihood of a denial by structuring your case to show similar factors exist.
  7. Identify issues likely to generate the widespread public support frequently needed to prompt decision-makers to deny approval for fatally-flawed projects or condition an approval in ways that resolve your concerns via the Equitable Solutions identified in Step 3 above, and
  8. Identify at least one – hopefully several – attorneys with a good reputation for helping folks in your state who were concerned about similar issues.

The analysis can usually be completed within two weeks of receiving a retainer. About half the time the analysis is the only thing our clients need pay for to win.

For examples of CEDS analyses and for further detail visit our Strategy Analysis webpage. For a no-cost discussion of how an analysis might benefit your effort contact CEDS at 410-654-3021 or

CEDS Uniquely Qualified to Help You Preserve Your Neighborhood & Environment

For more than 30 years CEDS has been helping people across the nation protect their communities and the environment from threats posed by development and other project types. To see a map of the many communities we’ve helped preserve click on: CEDS Case Map.

CEDS is one of very few organizations that solely helps people concerned about project impacts. This specialization and our nationwide scope has allowed CEDS to acquire a unique and extensive knowledge of technical solutions as well as strategies that have proven highly success in winning battles other thought impossible.

The CEDS network consists of more than 200 attorneys nationwide along with a long list of other professionals such as traffic and stormwater engineers, land use planners, etc. Because people (not corporations) are our primary clients we’ve learned how to protect neighborhoods at a fraction of the cost you might pay if you hired an attorney or consultant outside our network.

To learn how we can greatly increase your likelihood of success for minimal expense, contact CEDS at 410-654-3021 or