At the request of Tenants to Homeowners, the City Commission initiated a text amendment (TA-18-00467) in October 2018 to help increase the options to allow for increased development of affordable housing. In March 2018, a proposed draft was submitted to the Affordable Housing Advisory Board and the Planning Commission to consider a program to increase affordable housing development options. A key component of the proposed text amendment was to allow a second detached dwelling on lots that would currently allow one dwelling unit per lot to reduce costs associated with producing affordable detached dwellings in single-family districts and expand the portfolio of truly affordable units in the city. The preliminary text amendment was modeled on the Tenants to Homeowners program, but facilitating two detached dwellings, for individual ownership, on a single platted lot when both units meet defined affordability criteria.
Here's a Summary of the main components of this text amendment:
Right now, when a Developer wants to change (re-zone) the land usage of a lot in a neighborhood, that neighborhood has the right to petition against it. If votes are more than 20% (sq. ft. of owned land) of a Community living within 200 feet around that lot, then the Community's wishes can out-weigh those of the Developer.
This makes sense, a Community should have the right to decide how it gets developed.
This text amendment wants to bypass this re-zoning requirement to permit the Developer the exclusive right to build "affordable" multi-dwellings wherever he chooses without any concern of the Community he builds in.
2 "Affordable" dwellings on a Lot
This text amendment will permit a Developer to build 2 "affordable" dwellings on a single residential lot, or add an additional dwelling to an lot with an existing "affordable" dwelling on it. The smallest lot size allowable is the popular single family lot, the 5000 sq. ft. lot (RS-5 zone). These lots are the commonest in East Lawrence, the classic single family home with a single driveway.
3 storeys high
This text amendment doesn't alter the height requirements of any of the land zones, so the height limitations remain at 35 ft or 3 storeys high.
- Neighborhoods lose their rights to say NO to Multi-Dwelling housing.
- Permits 2 "Affordable" dwellings on all residential lots sized 5000 sq.ft. and up.
- Each dwelling can be 3 storeys high, up to a maximum of 35 feet.