Home Upzoning: Homes and What Meaning For You

A major cause of housing shortages that plague many of the country’s most popular and dynamic cities is the long history of zoning, which enshrines single-family homes (SFHs) at the expense of other, more economical forms of housing. It’s starting to change just a little bit, and all potential homebuyers and homeowners should be aware that, by the way, most are positive about what such changes mean to them. ..

In the San Francisco Bay Area, a study by the University of California, Berkeley found that SFH-only zoning covered approximately 82% of residential areas. It is a national standard. According to data analysis by the New York Times a few years ago, major cities typically restricted 70% to 90% of their residential area solely for single-family homes.

As cities are built (that is, with few vacant lots), this becomes increasingly difficult to achieve housing unit growth, and high-rise development in central cities in many places to accommodate population growth. It meant that you would need it. Severe shortages in many cities and elsewhere on the West Coast have left homeless and cruelly lengthened commuting times for residents who could not afford the soaring prices of their homes.

Currently, a few cities are abolishing, mitigating, or studying such movements for SFH-only zoning. Minneapolis became a hot topic in 2019, when it became the first major US city to abolish single-family zoning. By the way, SFH-only zoning, also known as exclusive zoning, is a race recognized by Minneapolis for making its changes, keeping ethnic minority residents away from the most attractive areas of many cities. Played a role in discrimination policy.

West coast upzoning

As a record, banning exclusive zoning does not mean banning single-family homes, but that other types of homes can be built. Berkeley plans to complete exclusive zoning by 2022. The Sacramento City Council has approved and allowed up to 4 units in virtually every residential area. And Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco, and South San Francisco are studying similar moves.

Oregon has passed state law prohibiting more than 10,000 cities from having exclusive zoning. Portland has gone even further upzone, allowing you to build more duplexes, triplets, fourplexes, and more accessory housing units (ADUs) and cottages within your existing single house. .. Washington is considering a state-wide ban similar to Oregon. Seattle has recently upzoned a small part of the city, but this is a noteworthy place as supporters want more. And Tacoma is thinking about the same thing.

Elsewhere, Charlotte, North Carolina, has taken steps to reduce the wide range of exclusive zoning, Atlanta is considering, and Connecticut has recently built ADUs by homeowners in cities and towns. We took a step in that direction by demanding that we allow us to do so.

More housing units are not enough

• If you are an SFH enthusiast and want to live only in SFH, slow-growing or shrinking cities are less likely to be upzones due to less urgent housing demand. And the suburbs are always a good bet.

• If you’re a density-loving YIMBY (yes, in my backyard) but live in the SFH area, you have to wait patiently. Even with zoning mitigation, permits take time, and NIMBY (not my backyard) neighbors may find ways to slow things down.

• If you are waiting for higher density development so that you can get closer to the city center, you have to be really patient and the low price may not be realized. In many cities, demand is so strong that adding thousands of homes cannot stop the rise in home prices. There have been decades of lack of construction of housing units to make up for.

Let’s see how upzoning unlocks the so-called “missing middle” of home supply, or homes priced for the local middle class. In Austin, Texas, developers used zoning loopholes to build six homes in the city’s preferred North Loop district, usually in a parcel that accommodates two single-family homes. Each sells in the mid- $ 400,000 range, about $ 200,000 less than the regional average. Homeowners of these new homes now have access to all the facilities in the area (retailers, restaurants, parks, etc., all within walking distance) for about two-thirds of the cost.

Existing homeowners will also benefit

Neighborhood associations often warn that upzoning will reduce home prices in the area, but evidence does not support it. One UCLA study found that up-zoned areas can increase property values. Increased availability in areas that are already desirable can increase demand.

Existing homeowners can benefit from the upzone by converting their garage or basement into an ADU to earn rental income. For more information on how to raise and build ADU, see DeeGill’s three-part series.

In addition, upzoning creates a variety of home types and sizes, giving retirees an option not only to stay in the community but also to reduce their size.

Erica Cherry and her husband Andre sued Seattle’s Construction Inspection Office to build an affordable housing fund in the city to rebuild a 650-square-foot home in the city’s most diverse Highland Park district. He threatened to demand that he pay $ 11,000. .. The neighborhood was one of those upzoned as part of the affordable pricing plan for mandatory homes in 2019.

Home Upzoning: Homes and What Meaning For You

Source link Home Upzoning: Homes and What Meaning For You

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