Another school year means another spate of residents complaining about college students gettin’ rowdy in their neighborhoods. Yep, that’s right. College students are partying in the Durham neighborhoods surrounding our universities.

It’s nothing new, by any means, but we can’t help but just shake our heads at some of the latest rounds of complaints—mainly because if the emails are correct, it’s just absurd to think that college students are willingly living with eleven people in a house.

Let’s take a recent complaint from the 800 block of Onslow Street, which was emailed to the Durham City Council:

Also, I was personally informed by 3 students living at 805 that there are 11 (eleven) students living in that house. That is a zoning violation and to my knowledge NOTHING has been done to change the number of occupants residing there.

They have had parties and there are all of these cars now parking on the street for long periods of time that should not be there. They all are NOT residents.

City zoning codes only permit three non-related individuals to live together. Now, the house in question—805 Onslow—is owned by Bob Schmitz.

Complaining about parties is nothing new. But for some residents, it’s more than just noise complaints:

It is not just loud parties, its (possibly) eleven cars parking illegally for long periods on time in violation of parking zoning. If all Durham citizens behaved this way — like the students, like Duke administrators, like the City Officials — our entire city would be unlivable, yet it is clear that some people are allowed to do what they like with no “effective” repercussions that change behavior,

This past spring, some of the situations were, well, a bit tense:

A student attending the party at 903 Onslow street that I was having a discussion with after the Durham police issued a warning indicated to me that to quote ” nothing was going to happen as two students that were the children of high ranking Duke University officials were in attendance”, I think he stated that members of the Duke University board, were in attendance.

I informed the student that I did not care if he thought that they had influence with Duke University or not.
That no one is above the law and they were subject to obeying the law. He apparently did not understand that concept.

I am outraged and disgusted that one of your students has an apparent inferred type of attitude as to that influence of a student at Duke University living off campus can dictate to law enforcement their actions as to enforcing the law. That they apparently think that they are above the law.

There’s no easy solution to the parties, but neighbors have created a “protocol” for when such parties do happen. Really, the only way to remediate some of the problems is to make sure that zoning codes aren’t being violated and cite the owners of the houses. The group Durham Neighborhoods United (DNU) has held meetings to address this issue, and since they seem to be popping up again and again, another meeting is being held on October 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lyon Park Family and Community Recreation Center.