At a previously held Board of Aldermen meeting on Oct. 17, Mayor David Zucker had requested via Bill No. 19-43 a change to the municipal code for minimum square footage in attached residential dwelling units [townhomes] in a planned unit development [PUD] in R1D residential zoning districts. The bill would allow a total of 1,500 square feet between two floors, meaning the first floor could be built with 750 sq. ft. of living space.
Zucker had learned there are small parcels of land in the city that are too small to economically develop single-family detached homes but would be suitable for townhome development. For those small parcels, the existing 1,450-square-foot first floor minimum may not be feasible.
City staff and Zucker also had learned of demand in the market for two-story townhomes with smaller footprints.
After several aldermen voiced questions and concerns, they voted at the Oct. 17 meeting to refer the bill back to the Planning & Zoning Commission [P&Z] for further discussion and review.
Subsequently, P&Z discussed the bill, then voted 7-3 to recommend denial due to the number of open restrictions not being addressed in the proposed bill. P&Z also cited a desire to retain the current minimum footprint size for townhomes.
The bill then came back to the Board of Aldermen.
At the Nov. 20, meeting, after discussing the P&Z concerns, the aldermen voiced similar concerns and remained uncomfortable with the bill’s provisions and risks. By acclimation [including the mayor], the board opted to table Bill No. 19-43 indefinitely, effectively killing it.
After the tabling, Zucker said he would work with city staff to create a new bill with some other type of viable solution for the odd lots in the city that are too small or too irregular in shape for economically feasible residential development.