While warm weather and live music will bring Fairfield students together this weekend to celebrate the last week of classes, beach residents are crossing their fingers that the events will help make their temporary injunction against student tenants permanent.

Last April a lawsuit was brought against the Lantern Point Association and a temporary injunction was ordered, preventing Clam Jam or any other event attracting more than 250 students from taking place on Lantern Point. Property owners claimed that they had suffered damages from student parties and behavior, including loss of real estate value.

A year later, many are wondering: what loss of real estate value?

Colleen Sheridan, the president of the Fairfield Beach Road Association, owns a house with an appraised value of $551,700, according to Vision Appraisal Technology. In 1995, the same house was worth $312,500. The same holds true for William Collins, a plaintiff, whose house was worth $370,000 in 1997 and today has the appraised value of $794,300. All information regarding property value is public information and can be viewed at www.visionappraisal.com.

Joel Green of Green and Gross P.C., the attorney for Collins and others, is not impressed. “Those homes may have appreciated even more and could be worth more today if the situation was different,” said Green. ” A realtor might say that they would have appreciated even more if beach relations were better.”

Many students, however, remain skeptical. “Even if that’s true, beach residents make back the money from us,” said Tom Callahan ’03. “Those who rent out houses charge way too much and make back the money.”

Whether students will even have the ability to rent in the future remains to be seen, especially with the temporary injunction in place. Both FUSA and Fairfield administrators are unwilling to go near the topic of Clam Jam, claiming it is a beach issue. It is an especially controversial issue now because the outcome of this upcoming weekend could impact not only future Clam Jams, but also future town-gown relations.

“As of now, the injunction is still pending,” said Green. “We are still pleading and seeking a permanent case. Depending on student behavior, it could have an effect on the final outcome.”

Jen Driscoll ’03 is still looking forward to her senior year where she will be living at the beach, despite the injunction and the ongoing problems with the residents. “We will probably be more cautious now,” said Driscoll. “My freshman year was different and I would never have thought it would turn out like this, but we will still enjoy it.”

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