City planning board OKs code change for multifamily housing

The city planning board voted unanimously on April 25 to recommend that the City Commission approve a code change for multifamily housing.

The City Commission adopted Title 17, the land development code in 2005 and it was been updated multiple times.

Over the last few years, city planned staff has received numerous inquiries from developers regarding multifamily dwellings within the C-2 general commercial zoning district.

City considering code amendment for multifamily housing

Currently, the code prohibits all residential uses in the C-2 district.

Planning staff is recommending a code revision to allow multifamily residential within the C-2 district.

“This proposed code revision would diversify residential development opportunities, further encourage infill, and provide additional financial sources for commercial development projects,” according to the staff report.

The planning board must review the staff proposal and make a recommendation to the commission.

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“Given the city’s interest in incentivizing more housing development in the community, staff believes the amendment will have broad community support from property owners and the development community,” according to the staff report.

During the meeting, Tom Micuda, interim planning director, said that staff had been looking at making the change for about six months.

He said under the current code, developers looking at multifamily projects would have to rezone the property from commercial to multifamily, which can take about four months and essentially reduce the property value since commercially zoned property is typically higher value than multifamily zoning.

“We saw it as a win-win before the state started tackling this issue,” Micuda told the board when asked if it was in response to land use zoning changes being considered at the Legislature this session.