Zoning Changes Proposal Detail 28 March 2011
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Zoning Changes Proposal Detail 28 March 2011 Document Transcript

  • 1. Northampton’s Urban Residential Zoning Districts: Formatted: Font: 14 ptDimensional and Design Standards ProposalGoal: Facilitate higher density in existing urban districts (infill) while minimizing negativeimpacts of infill on existing properties.Problem: The city’s current zoning requirements prevent units from being added to ourtraditional urban neighborhoods, and when homes are converted to accommodate fewer units,they often can never be converted back to their earlier higher number of units. The implicationsof this are that the city is slowly losing housing units over time, homeowners lack the flexibilityto meet the changing needs of households over time (e.g. changes in household size andneeds), and the city cannot meet the goals of the Sustainable Northampton ComprehensivePlan (2008), which calls for increased residential densities in traditional neighborhoods.Analysis: A review of zoning in the city’s urban residential districts revealed very high rates ofnon-conforming properties. “Non-conforming” refers to a property whose existing use orstructures are not permitted by the zoning for the property. Usually these characteristics werein place before the current zoning was enacted. The use or structure is then “grandfathered”,or permitted to continue. The analysis conducted by the Zoning Revisions Committee revealedthe following rates of non-conformance based on minimum lot size requirements in our urbanneighborhoods:URC Zoning District  63% of 1-3 family homes do not conform  83% of 4 family homes do not conformURB Zoning District  32% of 1 family homes do not conform  62% of 2 family homes do not conform  82% of 3 family homes do not conformURA Zoning Distrcict  35% of 1 family homes do not conform  100% of 2 family and multiple-family homes do not conform (they are not allowed)This analysis looked only at conformance with lot size requirements. An analysis of propertiesthat also meet minimum setback, frontage and other requirements would yield even higher 1
  • 2. rates of non-conformance. The ZRC was unable to do this further analysis because it would bevery time-consuming. However, spot checks of random properties shows that there is quitesignificant non-conformance of setbacks, frontage and other requirements. This correlates withanecdotal evidence gathered in forums.On the whole, the Zoning Revisions Committee found that the non-conforming status of aproperty does not significantly impact residential property owners (other than creatinganxiety). However, there are some cases in which the non-conforming status of a residentialproperty can be a nuisance or significantly limit use of the property. For example, manyhomeowners in our urban residential zoning districts cannot use their garages to create anaccessory apartment because their garages do not meet the setbacks for residential structures(they do conform for the most part to the required setbacks for garages). This is becausedetached garages are allowed to be closer to the setback than residential structures in alldistricts. In addition, this situation contradicts the goals of Sustainable Northampton, whichencourages greater density in existing in-town neighborhoods and reduced development out oftown.Perhaps most importantly, however, the high rates of non-conforming properties in ourresidential districts serve as an indicator: This indicates that our current zoning does not match(and in fact is very, very different from) our existing urban neighborhoods. As a result, we havegreat urban neighborhoods that can never be built again. As units are lost and cannot bereplaced over time, the character of our traditional urban neighborhoods is changing. Inaddition, in the rare occasion when new multi-building developments are built within existingneighborhoods, zoning encourages their character to be out of context with the surroundingneighborhoods.Some key points from the Zoning Revisions Committee analysis are: ● The existing dimensional standards, especially the requirements that govern the number of units per square foot of lot size, and frontage requirements greatly limit the creation of new units in urban districts. ● When structures are converted to a lower number of units, it can be impossible to convert them back to a higher number of units. These standards are contributing to the loss of units and population in urban districts. ● Many accessory structures do not conform to residential setback requirements. This limits their conversion to accessory apartments. ● The setback requirements do not match our current neighborhoods, so new structures are unlikely to be sited in a way that matches—or is in character with--the other homes on the block. 2
  • 3. ● The current zoning forces the city to lose units over time, which is in direct contradiction to the city’s comprehensive plan, which calls for concentrating development in traditional neighborhoods.Public Feedback: The Zoning Revisions Committee held two general public forums thataddressed the issue of infill. The community expressed general support for infill as long as itdoes not affect the existing character of our neighborhoods. Major concerns that were voicedinclude traffic, parking, intrusions into views or solar access and loss of “green space”.Residents are most likely to be sympathetic to: ● Owner-occupants who want to add units ● Conversions that revert a structure to its historic number of units ● Additional units that help maintaining affordability for owners, as well as renters to a lesser degreeResidents expressed concern about infill projects that: ● Are out of scale with the neighborhood in terms of height, bulk, or number of units ● Add new houses on existing streets (especially through subdivision of lots) ● Create multi-family housing on predominantly single-family streets ● Affect land that neighbors feel a “sense of ownership” over, such as privately owned woods or fields lots that have been used informally by neighborhood residents ● Result in the demolition of “loved” structures ● Consolidate lots for larger projectsResidents also expressed concerns about: ● Zoning that is difficult to understand, unpredictable, or unequally applied ● Effects on property values (either increases or OR decreases in property value)With regard to design, residents expressed concerns about projects the block views or sunlight,and that are out- of- scale with the neighborhood. However, residents do not seem to want toover-regulate design by creating very specific architectural standards or a complex designreview process. In general, residents expressed a preference for standards that address sitedesign characteristics (how a building is situated on a lot, for example) rather than architecturalcharacteristics (the style and characteristics of the building itself, other than its height andbulk). 3
  • 4. Interpretation of Public Feedback: Based on the public feedback received, the following listindicates the acceptability of different types of infill projects, arranged from most acceptable toleast acceptable: ● Accessory units within houses and accessory structures (owner-occupied) ● Additional units within existing structures with no external changes to the building or lot ● Additional units within existing structures with minor changes to the building or lot ● Additional units within existing structures with major changes to the building or lot (large additions, large parking lots, major demolition and rebuilding) ● Filling gaps in the a street with new buildings that match the scale of the neighborhood ● Filling gaps the a street with new buildings that are larger than the building in the existing neighborhood ● Large new projects (new neighborhoods, multi-unit town homes, etc.) Some statements in favor of innovative housing were made at the forums, and several people came up to ZRC members after the forums to express support for cottage housing. Significant statements either for or against adaptive reuse of existing non-residential structures (e.g. churches) were not made by forum participants, but nods of approval by community members during the presentation of the committee’s analysis and the following discussion of the need to make zoning changes to allow for the redevelopment of these structures has been interpreted as support for the idea.Proposed Improvements:This document proposes the following approach to improving the zoning regulations to allowfor more infill in a way that addresses the feedback received at the public forums:1. Revise the city’s accessory apartment regulations to make it easier to have accessory apartments on owner-occupied properties An accessory apartment, also known as an “in-law apartment” is an extra unit that can be built on an owner-occupied property. Under the current zoning, an accessory apartment is only allowed by right if incorporated within a single-family dwelling. Accessory apartments are allowed by special permit in a detached accessory structure on the lot IF the structure conforms to current zoning requirements. The following changes to the current regulations are recommended:  Allow accessory units in garages that are closer to property boundaries than homes. For Comment [DU1]: detached accessory structures or garages specifically? carriage example, this would allow garages that were built at or near the lot line to be converted houses? to accessory units. 4
  • 5.  Allow conversion of a detached accessory structure into an accessory apartment by- right rather than requiring a special permit. Allow accessory units in all owner-occupied buildings (not just single-family homes). For example, this would allow owner-occupier residents of two-family or multi-family homes to add an accessory unit.  Allow the entrance to an accessory apartment to be located in the front of the building (in addition to the side or rear)  Allow a new attached structure for an accessory unit to have a front setback of 20 feet Comment [DU2]: If it is attached, shouldn’t it match the existing setback of the neighborhood. (change from 40 feet) I think the setback for the detached structures is the more challenging one. Do we want to keep the requirements for garages behind the house? Comment [D3]: Are there bulk concerns with allowing the attached structure to the current2. Amend the city’s Planned Development regulations to allow for innovative housing and setback? adaptive reuse of obsolete structures by Special Permit  Cottage or Pocket Housing o More than one principal structure allowed on a lot o Each unit is 800 square feet or less o Single family or duplex structures allowed o Shared open space and parking o Additional standards may need to be developed, using examples of innovative housing bylaws examples from other communities  Adaptive Reuse o Conversion of a building over 4,000 sq. ft. to, or from, a residential use; or o Conversion of a home to be converted back to a historic use, e.g. converting a single family back to a two-family (in the event that this situation is not captured by proposed changes to dimensional standards below) o Additional standards may need to be developed3. Amend the dimensional tables in the city’s urban residential zoning districts, as discussed in detail in the sections below.4. Establish general design standards that apply only to larger projects Comment [D4]: Given the not huge amount of support for design standards, do  Apply design standards with site plan review by the Planning Board to all new Comment [D5]: Carolyn’s Comment: even for construction, additions or renovations over 700 square feet. additions to existing homes that are to the rear of  Standards to include: the principal structure? Is this in conflict with the goal of simplifying for homeowner? o New structures (including additions) must not interfere with solar access of Dillon’s Response: public feedback indicated that additions to the rear of a building are as neighboring building structure, except by Special Permit. problematic as other additions- because they affect the neighbor’s rear yard. Example, recent condos on Round Hill Road 5
  • 6.  Definition: A new structure may not shade any point above the first floor (10’) of a principal structure on a neighboring property for more than one hour between 11 a.m. and 4 pm on December 21 (The day of the year with the smallest solar altitude angle) Comment [D6]: Changed from 3 hours to one hour. Solar engineer input: 3 hours on  Simple Method: As an alternative to requiring full solar shading analysis, a December 21st would reduce solar gain by a lot! setback table based on a simplified set of assumptions may be provided by the city. It could be consulted to determine whether the requirement is met based Comment [D7]: Carolyn comment: Typically the onus is on the applicant. on the height difference and distance between the two structures. Dani: Onus would still be on the applicant to o The principal residential structure on a lot must have a front door that faces the street, meet the table setbacks based on the height difference between 2 structures. Could be and a pathway from the front door to the street, unless: helpful for smaller projects - does the geometry for them (for simple projects)…  The applicant demonstrates that this would be impractical based on unique considerations relating to the lot or building structure; or  The development is Cottage Housing or other Innovative Housing project approved by Planning Board Special Permit under the Planned Unit Development regulations. o An applicant may apply for relief from the standards in the dimensional tables subject to Site Plan Review by the Planning Board. o As part of the Site Plan Review, the applicant must demonstrate that:  If the front plane of the home is changed, front setbacks are no more or less than 5’ from block average  For all projects in which the front yard will be affected, the front yard must have street trees. Street trees are not subject to solar access standards.  For all projects that receive Planning Board review, the applicant must demonstrate “fit” with neighborhood regarding setbacks and building massing.5. Develop a Design Guidebook with more detailed (non-binding) design guidelines that:  Illustrate appropriate building design in Northampton  Explain basic architectural and site design concepts  Provide examples of typical (is there one?) Northampton building styles and materials  Summarize green building principles  Helps applicants evaluate whether their project “fits” within the existing neighborhood  Discuss different neighborhoods or use a broad approachFunding for the guidebook may be available through CPA under historic preservation. 6
  • 7. URCProblem: The current zoning discourages infill in urban districts (particularly URC), while theSustainable Northampton Comprehensive Plan encourages greater density in theseneighborhoods.Analysis & Discussion: URC is the residential zone nearest to downtown Northampton. It hasthe smallest residential lots and greatest residential densities. These are some ofNorthampton’s oldest neighborhoods and this district has a very high proportion of propertiesthat do not conform to the current zoning (63% of 1-3 family homes, 83% of 4 family homes).Due to already small lots sizes and its highly built-out nature, this district has the fewestopportunities for new lots or new structures. However, there are plentiful opportunities foradding units within existing structures – including primary structures and accessory buildings,like garages – and allowing the number of units in a structure or on a property to change overtime as demographics (household size and needs) change.At the forums, we heard that some residents want to add units to existing structures or converthomes back to an earlier state that had more units. There was general support for conversionswithin existing structures and accessory buildings like garages.Compared to other districts, a greater proportion of residents live within walking distance oftheir jobs – For example, an analysis of the Market Street neighborhoods found that 26% ofresidents walk to work (U.S. Census 2000). Anecdotal evidence from the forums suggests thatthere are residents, particularly students of nearby colleges, who live in this area who do nothave own cars. However, although residents of this zone are less car-dependent (and may ownfewer cars per household), parking is a continuing concern for residents, especially as streetparking is at a premium in these neighborhoods. Parking is a particular concern for residentswho live close to downtown. There is a wide-spread perception that workers and visitors todowntown choose to park in residential neighborhoods.Proposed Short-Term Solution: Revise the dimensional standards to allow for infill withinexisting lots, but prevent splitting of small lots into even smaller lots, which would result inmore new construction and a sense of less “open space” in these neighborhoods.  In order to prevent splitting of already small lots, set minimum frontage and lot sizes as follows: o Frontage: 65 feet Comment [D8]: 65’ to match reduction allowed under zero lot single family. 7
  • 8. o Lot Size: 3,200 square feet (70% percent of existing properties have lot sizes of 3,750 and above. (Outcome: 6,400 sf would be required to subdivide a property Comment [D9]: 30% of properties in URC are above 6,400 sf. But, many could not be easily into two 3,200 square foot lots. Both lots would need the required frontage in subdivided – e.g. if principal structure is at center, or if lot is strange shape, not easy to order to subdivide) subdivide – would need to meet 3,200 sf lot size and frontage requirements.  In order to allow small-scale infill development in existing structures and on existing lots, remove the link between the number of units and lot size for 1 – 4 family homes. To allow development in character with existing neighborhoods, change the dimensional standards to match the traditional neighborhoods more closely. Finally, simplify the requirements for 1 – 4 family home lots.1 o Replace current standards with the following performance requirements:  Front Setback: 10’ max/min (can be increased to / 20’ max by site plan review)  Side Setback: 10’ min  Rear setback: 20’ min (same as current)  Parking: Same off-street requirements as current regulations for now (see below)  Open Space: 50 contiguous square feet per dwelling unit OR this requirement can be waived by a finding that adequate outdoor space is Comment [D10]: how does this comport with the cry from residents to save open space provided to each unit through alternative means, such as a porch, deck or [owned by others] for their enjoyment? green roof. Comment [D11]: Applies to URC only. Need to do an analysis of outcomes for both districts.Comparison of Current Requirements to Proposed Requirements for 1 – 4 Family Home Lots2Summary (1 – 4 Family Structures) Current Regulations Results of Proposed ChangeMin. Lot Size 6,000 – 24,000 sq. ft. 3,200 sq. ft.Frontage 75 feet 65 feetDepth 80 – 250 feet 0 feet? Comment [D12]: Purpose of depth? Perhaps a good place to simplify?Front Setback 20 feet 10 feetSide Setback 5 - 15 feet 10 feetRear Setback 20 – 30 feet 20 feetMaximum Building Height 40 – 55 feet 40 feet Comment [DU13]: why reduce? won’t most height additions be covered by special permitParking 2 spaces per unit, 1 space per Same which has solar provisions? Who would change unit under 750 sq. ft. or a roof to add less than 500 sq ft? accessory unit under 900 sq. ft. Comment [D14]: Not sure why a 4 family home should ever be more than 4 stories or 40’Open Space 30% 50 contiguous sq. ft. per unit (assuming typ. 10’ residential stories). That comes to 1 unit per floor….unless some units (50 – 200 sq. ft.) or relief by SP occupy 2 floors??? Comment [DU15]: I like this! why not 750 sq ft for accessory units too?1 Redefine what is currently called “multifamily” in the current zoning to be 5 units or more Comment [D16]: Accessory units are limited2 Does not include comparison to cluster development provisions, as these largely do not apply in URC due to large to 900 sf and the current regs require one extraminimum parcel size required for a PUD under current regulations parking space to be provided for them 8
  • 9. 9
  • 10. Single Family Structures Formatted: Space After: 10 pt, Tab stops: Not at 2" Current Regulations Results of Proposed ChangeMin. Lot Size 6,000 - sq. ft. 3,200 sq. ft.Frontage 75 65 feetDepth 80 feet 0 feet? Comment [D17]: Purpose of depth? Perhaps a good place to simplify?Front Setback 20 feet min 10 feet max/minSide Setback 15 feet 10 feetRear Setback 20 feet 20 feetMaximum Building Height 40 feet SameParking 2 spaces per unit, 1 space per Same units under 750 sq. ft. or accessory unit under 900 sq. ft.Open Space 30% 50 sq. ft. or relief by SPTwo Family Structures Current Regulations Results of Proposed ChangeMin. Lot Size 12,000 sq. ft. 3,200 sq. ft.Frontage 75 feet 65 feetDepth 80 feet 0 feet?Front Setback 20 feet min 10 feet max/minSide Setback 15 feet 10 feetRear Setback 20 feet 20 feetMaximum Building Height 40 feet SameParking 2 spaces per unit, 1 space per Same units under 750 sq. ft. or accessory unit under 900 sq. ft.Open Space 30% Two 50 sq. ft. open spaces100 sq. ft., or relief by SP 10
  • 11. Three Family Structures (excludes townhomes) Current Regulations Results of Proposed ChangeMin. Lot Size 18,000 sq. ft. 3,200 sq. ft.Frontage 100 feet 6570 feetDepth 100 feet 0 feetFront Setback 10-20 feet min 10 feet max/minSide Setback 15 feet 10 feetRear Setback 20 – 30 feet 20 feetMaximum Building Height 40-55 feet 40 feetParking 2 spaces per unit, 1 space per Same units under 750 sq. ft. or accessory unit under 900 sq. ft.Open Space 40% Three 50 sq. ft. open spaces150 sq. ft., or relief by SPFour Family Homes (excludes townhomes) Current Regulations Results of Proposed ChangeMin. Lot Size 24,000 sq. ft. 3,200 sq. ft.Frontage 100-200 feet 65 feetDepth 100-250 feet 0 feet?Front Setback 20 feet min 10 feet max/minSide Setback 15 feet 10 feetRear Setback 20 – 30 feet 20 feetMaximum Building Height 40-55 feet 40 feetParking 2 spaces per unit, 1 space per Same units under 750 sq. ft. or accessory unit under 900 sq. ft.Open Space 40% 200 Four 50 sq. ft. open spaces, or relief by SPLong-Term Recommendations  Implement parking permits, then reduce parking requirements to 1 off-street parking space per unit, with provisions for snow emergency parking  Implement fee-in-lieu of parking (this is more feel good than anything else because it takes an enormous amount of money to create parking)NOTE:These recommendations do NOT cover projects with more than 4 units. Zoning should treatthese projects differently than 1-4 family projects. 11
  • 12. URBProblem: The current zoning discourages infill in urban districts, while the SustainableNorthampton Comprehensive Plan encourages greater density in these neighborhoods.Analysis & Discussion: URB differs from URC in that lot sizes are generally larger and there aregenerally greater side setbacks between structures. Residents generally support the addition ofunits to existing structures and accessory structures, but have expressed concerns about newlarge structures being built. In general, the existing conditions in URB are more diverse thanthey are in URC. Some neighborhoods are urban in character (Orchard Street) while others havesignificantly larger lots and predominantly single-family homes (Lincoln Ave). In URB, in orderto allow only for infill that is in keeping with the current neighborhood character, subdivision oflots resulting in new primary structures being built between existing structures should beprevented.Residents have also expressed concerns about parking. In general, there is more street parkingavailable in URB than in URC. However, some URB streets do face on-street parking shortages.Infill in URB is more likely to be noticeable to its residents than infill in URC. URC already has anurban character. Residents accept—and even appreciate--being close to neighbors, moderatetraffic and on-street parking. They are also accustomed to change, having experienced severalwaves of condo conversion and multi-family housing renovations. URB neighborhoods on theother hand are generally less urban. Although URB neighborhoods might have more capacity toabsorb density than URC neighborhoods (open space, on-street parking, etc), the effects of infillwill be more noticeable to URC residents. In URC, the risk of infill is to reaching a tipping pointwhere existing infrastructure can’t handle more development. In URB, the risk of infill isprimarily that thesignificanltly altering the existing character of a neighborhood is significantlyaltered. For example, in URC, an additional unit might add one car parked on-street in aneighorhoodneighborhood that always has cars parked. Residents won’t see the difference. InURB, adding a single car to a street that has never has had on-street parked cars will could bevery quite noticeable to residents.Proposed Short-Term Solution:Revise the dimensional standards to allow for infill within existing lots, but prevent splitting ofsmall lots into even smaller lots, which would result in more new construction and a sense ofless “open space” in these neighborhoods. 12
  • 13.  In order to minimize splitting of lots, set minimum frontage and lot sizes as follows: o Frontage: 65 feet (same as current) o Lot Size: 5,000 square feet (50% percent of existing 2-family properties have lot Comment [D18]: Was 5,200 based on 70% conforming analysis. Rounded to 5,000 based sizes of 4,400 and above. 10,400 sq. ft. would be required to subdivide a on Carolyn’s suggestiong. 5,000 sf is the statutory minimum for the “single lot exemption” property,)) Comment [D19]: 50% of properties in URB  In order to allow small- scale infill development in existing structures and on existing are above 10400 sf. But, many could not be easily subdivided – e.g. if principal structure is lots, remove the link between the number of units and lot size for 1 – 3 family homes. at center, then not easy to subdivide. To allow development in character with existing neighborhoods, change the dimensional standards to match the traditional neighborhoods more closely. Finally, simplify the requirements for 1 – 4 family home lots.3 o Replace current standards with the following performance requirements:  Front Setback: 10’ max/min  Side Setback: 15’? min Comment [D20]: Set to 70% conforming?  Rear setback: 20’ min  Parking: Same off-street requirements as current regulations  Open Space: 400 square feet per unit Comment [D21]: Not sure. Dillon suggested 15’ x 15’ or 225 sf per unit. What about keeping the current % open space? Say,30 or 40% open spaceComparison of Current Requirements to Proposed Requirements for 1 – 4 Family Home Lots4Summary (1 – 4 Family Structures) Current Regulations Results of Proposed ChangeMin. Lot Size 8,000 sq. ft – 28,000 sq. ft. 5,000Frontage 75 – 120 feet min 65 minDepth 80 – 150 feet min 0? 80? minFront Setback 20 – 30 feet min 10 feet max/minSide Setback 15 – 30 feet min 15 feet minRear Setback 20 – 30 feet min 20 feet minMaximum Building Height 35 – 40 feet max 35 feet maxParking 2 spaces per unit, 1 space per Same units under 750 sq. ft. or accessory unit under 900 sq. ft.Open Space 40 – 50% Mininum of 400 contiguous sq. ft. per unit (400 – 1600 sq. ft.) or relief by SPSingle Family Structures Current Regulations Results of Proposed Change3 Redefine what is currently called “multifamily” in the current zoning to be 5 units or more4 Does not include comparison to cluster development provisions 13
  • 14. Min. Lot Size 8,000 sq. ft. 5,000Frontage 75 feet min 65 minDepth 80 feet min ? feet minFront Setback 20 feet min 10 feet max/minSide Setback 15 feet min 15 feet minRear Setback 20 feet min 20 feet minMaximum Building Height 35 feet max 35 feet maxParking 2 spaces per unit, 1 space per Same units under 750 sq. ft. or accessory unit under 900 sq. ft.Open Space 50% One 400 sq. ft. spaceTwo Family Structures Current Regulations Results of Proposed ChangeMin. Lot Size 12,000 sq. ft. 5,000 sq. ft.Frontage 80 feet min 65 feet minDepth 100 feet min ? feet minFront Setback 20 feet min 10 feet max/minSide Setback 15 feet min 15 feet minRear Setback 20 feet min 20 feet minMaximum Building Height 35 feet max 35 feet maxParking 2 spaces per unit, 1 space per Same units under 750 sq. ft. or accessory unit under 900 sq. ft.Open Space 50% Two 400 sq. ft. spaces800 sq. ft.Three Family Structures Current Regulations Results of Proposed ChangeMin. Lot Size 21,000 sq. ft. 5,000 sq. ft.Frontage 120 feet min 65 feet minDepth 150 feet min ? feet minFront Setback 30 feet min 10 feet max/minSide Setback 30 feet min 15 feet minRear Setback 30 feet min 20 feet minMaximum Building Height 40 feet max 35 feet maxParking 2 spaces per unit, 1 space per Same units under 750 sq. ft. or accessory unit under 900 sq. ft.Open Space 40% Three 400 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft.spaces 14
  • 15. Long-Term Recommendations  Consider parking permits and parking requirement reductions, with provisions for snow emergency parking. 15
  • 16. URAProblem: The current zoning discourages infill in urban districts, while the SustainableNorthampton Comprehensive Plan encourages greater density in these neighborhoods.Analysis & Discussion: URA is the least dense of the three urban residential districts. Thedistrict has approximately 700 single-family properties, approximately 50 2-family properties,and a handful of 3-8 family properties. The city should encourage smaller lots in this district,allow two-family dwellings by right, and allow three-family dwellings by special permit.Proposed Short-Term Solution: Comment [D22]: Carolyn’s comment: Or get rid of URA?In order to encourage smaller single family lots: Dani: Could we change URA and SR to RR? What is rationale for getting rid of URA?  Change minimum lot size requirements for single-family homes to 10,000 square feet (~1/4 acre), 76% percent of existing 1-family properties have lot sizes of 10,000 sq. ft. and above. 20,000 sq. ft. would be required to subdivide a property,) Comment [D23]: 38% of properties in URA are above 20,0000 sf.  Change minimum open space requirements for single-family homes to 50% (reduced from 60%)  Allow for two-family homes using current URB requirements o 12,000 sq. ft.Comparison of Current Requirements to Proposed Requirements for 1 – 3 Family Home Lots1 Family Structures Current Regulations Results of Proposed ChangeMin. Lot Size 12,000 sq. ft. 10,000 sq. ft.Frontage 75 SameDepth 100 0 feet 80?Front Setback 20 min 15 feet max/min Comment [D24]: Not sure what is most appropriate.Side Setback 10 15 feet Comment [D25]: Same as URBRear Setback 20 20 feetMaximum Building Height 35 feet 35 feetParking 2 spaces (?) 2 spaces per unit, 1 space per units under 750 sq. ft. or accessory unit under 900 sq. ft.Open Space 60% 50% Comment [DU26]: Do we really need an open space requirement on a 10000 square foot lot?Two Family Structures Current Regulations - Results of Proposed Change Not Currently Allowed, Single Family Regulations Shown 16
  • 17. Min. Lot Size 12,000 sq. ft. 12,000 sq. ft.Frontage 75 feet 75 feetDepth 100 feet 0 feetFront Setback 20 feet min 15 feet max/minSide Setback 10 feet 15 feetRear Setback 20 feet 20 feetMaximum Building Height 35 feet 35 feetParking 2 spaces (?), 1 space per 2 spaces per unit, 1 space per accessory unit under 900 sq. ft. unit under 750 sq. ft. or accessory unit under 900 sq. ft.Open Space 60% 50% 17
  • 18. Additional Recommendations RegardingNonconforming Properties and Making Zoning Easier to UnderstandGoal: Reduce inconvenience and hardship associated with owning a non-conforming property.Problem: The city has high rates of non-conforming properties. This can create additionalrequirements, as well as anxiety among property owners.Recommendation: The Office of Planning and Development publishes a document that onsummarizes “What Non-Conformance Means to You.”Goal: Make the zoning easier to understand.Problem: The zoning code is quite complex and difficult to understand.Implications: ● Residents worry that zoning is not being applied equally in all situations. ● Residents feel like they cannot predict what to expect on neighboring properties. ● Some residents may not pursue projects because they think the zoning does not allow thefor a project, when in fact the zoning has exceptions that would allow itthe project. ● Some residents need to hire experts to interpret zoning.Recommendations: ● Publish a handbook on how to use the zoning code. The handbook should layout step- by-step processes for determining how zoning applies to common projects. ● Publish a summary of all administrative rules used by the Office of Planning and Development, the Planning Board, or others on the city’s website. ● Use graphics to explain zoning whenever possible. ● Improve the definitions section of the zoning code. All definitions should be in the definition section —not in the body of the code. ● Improve the use and dimensional tables ○ Either combine the dimensional and use tables, or ○ Reorganize the tables so that their structures are parallel ● Long-term: Restructure and rewrite the entire zoning code 18