Friday, December 11, 2020

Reducing Zoning Density Around Downtown

At the 12.1.20 Council meeting, I made two requests for future items.  The first was to send a letter calling out the errors of the latest RHNA statewide allocation.  The second was to consider reducing the zoning density around downtown.  Both were not included in the next meeting agenda on 12.15.20 but I thought it important to elaborate on why I think these are important matters that should be considered.

Given community interest in reducing traffic, preserving neighborhood character, and reducing environmental impacts, it's important to note that the zoning that underlies the Olivia project is the same in nearby properties.  I suggested that we as a Council look at these properties and consider whether the zoning is consistent with what our community expects.

Here is what I was considering in making my request to discuss this item:

As we can see, under the current zoning, nearby parcels to the Olivia could be developed to approximately 69 additional units.  I am requesting that we as a Council consider this and whether this is consistent with what our community wants.  State law requires that any reduction of density be done contemporaneously with an increase in units zoned elsewhere such that there is no net loss in overall housing units.  We would need to answer the first question - is this something we want to pursue - then we'd get to the second one of where we'd shift the units.

It's important that this be discussed soon because if a developer were to submit a complete application for these properties, the zoning at the time of applying is locked in even if it is changed at a future date.  Delays in considering this request could result in the option to reduce zoning density being taken away.