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23 and older only at Tempe apartment complex

Posted at 4:11 AM, Sep 18, 2015

The developer of a high-end Tempe apartment complex, steps away from ASU, says he does not want college age adults living in the complex.

A Tempe attorney says the company may be breaking a Tempe city ordinance that bans discrimination based on age.

The Hanover off Mill Avenue opened up about a month ago and according to its website and the developer, they are marketing it as a “23 and older community.”

A recent graduate of ASU, Bea Webb, says it’s wrong to assume all young, college age students are the same.

“I don’t think it’s right,” said Webb. “I don’t think you should be able to discriminate against an age. I feel like it’s against the law.”

The developer of the Hanover, Eric Kenney, did not want to go on camera, but told ABC15 the complex will allow families with children, but not those under 23 living without a guardian.

For some of the complex’s new residents, no college parties are a big bonus.

“It’s nice to not have to worry about loud noises at night and in the early morning,” said ASU graduate student Gary Wong, who just moved in.

Attorney Bob Sewell is with Davis Miles McGuire Gardner - a law firm that specializes in anti-discrimination laws. He says in theory, people are allowed to discriminate against age under federal and state guidelines as long as they allow families. But the City of Tempe has its own ordinance.

“If you’re going to rent to the general public, you can’t get around it,” says Sewell. “Because they’re discriminating against the people less than the age of 23, they could be, and likely are violating Tempe age discrimination provisions.”

With Tempe booming with new businesses moving in, many young professionals likely will be moving in and Kenney says they want to cater to them.

It’s a concept that many ASU students say they understand.

“They want to be with people their age, not just the college life,” said ASU student Casey Kinred. “I think it’s a smart idea.”

“Less noise complaints and will reduce a lot of conflict,” said ASU student Lauren Annis.

Kenney says they've had college age students come in to tour the complex, but were turned away due to their age.

Sewell says anyone who feels they have been discriminated against will have to file a lawsuit, alleging the complex violated the Tempe ordinance and file an injunction.

When it comes to 55 and older communities, Sewell says whether it’s federal, state or city laws, there is an area carved out to cater to the senior population. If a complex qualifies as a “senior living community,” they are allowed to discriminate based on age, in favor of the elderly population.