Mayor David Zucker had requested a change to the municipal code for attached residential dwelling units [townhomes] in a planned unit development [PUD] in R1D residential zoning districts.
The current code requires a minimum of 1,450 square feet on the first floor. The proposed code change would have allowed a minimum of 1,500 square feet of finished living space, but it could be on two floors, meaning the footprint could be 750 square feet and built on a smaller lot.
Zucker learned there are small parcels of land in the city that are too small to economically develop single-family detached homes but which would be suitable for townhome development. For those small parcels, a 1,450-square-foot minimum may not be feasible.
City staff and Zucker also learned of demand in the market for two-story townhomes with smaller footprints.
P&Z voted on Oct. 9 to recommend adoption of the change.
At the Oct. 16 Board of Aldermen meeting, the bill [No. 19-43] to make the change received a first reading; however, on a vote of 6 to 0 it then was referred back to Planning & Zoning (P&Z) for further research and deliberation. The bill can come back to the board for approval at a later date.
At its Oct. 16 work session, board members had a spirited, 40-minute discussion about the proposed bill. Several aldermen said they were not yet comfortable with their understanding of the ramifications of amending the R1D code. Some wanted to know more about the viability of this type of housing. Others wanted to know more about how their constituents felt about the issue.
During the formal board meeting, the agenda included a public hearing about the proposed code change; however, no one was in the audience to speak for or against it.