PSU Harrisburg students violating zone law by living with friends

Penn State Harrisburg student Noah Carl says he and his three roommates began getting nasty notes from neighbors shortly afterthey moved into their West Water Street apartment in Middletown Borough in September.

“I've heard people talk to me personally and say, ‘Oh, you college kids are so disrespectful.’ I got yelled at for parking, taking up people’s parking spots. And they tell me I’m entitled because I’m a college student,” said Carl, who just finished his junior year.

And now, Carl and his roommates are concerned they may lose their housing all together.

Middletown Borough officials sent a violation notice to the students' landlord, saying they were breaking code.

“I think it’s extremely unfair. I think the laws need to be changed here in the borough to represent the current times that we have,” said Diana McGlone, the students' landlord.

As is, the ordinance defines a dwelling unit as arranged for the occupancy of one family, and defines family as one or more persons occupying one dwelling unit and maintaining one common household, provided that no more than two persons are unrelated by blood, marriage or adoption.

Student housing is an exception, but that does not apply here because the students live off campus.

“Not only do I have properties that house students, I also have properties that have families. We have retirees that live in some of our properties. I feel that specifically in this instance, they’re targeting the students,” said McGlone.

McGlone says to her knowledge, she is the only landlord who has received a notice like this.

And since this street has had a lack of parking in the past, she thinks it all ties into those nasty notes being left on students cars.

“The only thing that I do know is that the individual who filed the complaint got on council this year, and actually lives on this street,” said McGlone.

But with many neighbors backing the students...

“They have not been any trouble whatsoever,” said one neighbor.

Carl hopes others will hear their plea and help fight for them too.

“I’m sorry if we’ve done anything to inconvenience you at all, but again, we’re just trying to be members of the community the same as they are,” said Carl.

Borough zoning officers could not be reached for comment.

A public meeting will be held on Tuesday night at the Borough Hall to discuss the ordinance.