The Spokane City Council later this month will consider approving an overhaul of the citys residential development code.
The councils public hearing on the proposed residential code is set for 6 p.m. on Monday, April 10, in the City Council Chambers, on the lower level of City Hall. An informational open house on the proposed changes, starting at 4:30 p.m. on April 10 in the Chase Gallery, next to the council chambers, will precede the public hearing.
City planner Heather Trautman says the council likely will decide in May whether to adopt the proposed residential code. The citys planning commission has recommended that the council adopt the code.
The city staff, which has been working on the new code since July 2004, says the changes allow housing options that arent currently available. Such options, including smaller lots and reduced setbacks, are intended to allow for greater densities and to create more affordable housing options.
The new code includes provisions allowing different types of housing, including accessory dwelling unitsalso known as granny flatscottage housing, and attached housing. Also, the code provides for increased density in border areas along residential and commercial zones.
The diversity in types of housing allowed are aimed at reflecting better the needs of households here, the city says. Trautman says Census data show that 66 percent of the housing stock in the city is traditional, single-family detached dwellings, while less than 20 percent of the households fit the description of a traditional family, which is defined as parents with children at home under age 18.
In some cases, however, lower densities would be allowed. If the code is approved, the zoning in some neighborhoods would permit only single-family homes, rather than the higher density development currently allowed. Such a process is referred to as down zoning.
As proposed, parts of the city that would be down zoned include portions of the lower South Hill, West Central, and Logan neighborhoods, among others.
The city says the changes are intended to make the code fall in line more closely with the citys comprehensive plan.
The code changes are part of the citys effort to update all of its zoning regulations so theyre consistent with its comprehensive plan, which was adopted in the spring of 2001. The city recently adopted new development codes for commercial, industrial, and office zones.
Trautman says city staff next will start working on revamps to downtown regulations and additional engineering standards. Next year, the city will work on shoreline regulations and critical areas, such as wetlands and geographic hazards.
Contact Linn Parish at (509) 344-1266 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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