The City Council met last week to discuss possible changes to the draft 2040 Comprehensive Plan. There has been much dialogue and debate in the community regarding several key issues. The conversations have at times been confusing and the Council is scheduled for another discussion tomorrow Monday May 17th.
We have stated our concerns before but today we would like to summarize what we heard as the major items currently under debate:
1. If the community must eliminate exclusive single-family zoning within all Neighborhood to achieve the desired increase in density to handle the anticipated increase of 400,000 people to the City over the next 20 years? Specifically, should the City discontinue zoning districts that allow only single-family housing?
2. How can the city create more partnership between Neighborhoods and Developers in meeting the overall vision for a Neighborhood including missing amenities? This is currently being discussed relative to Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs). (NOTE: This issue is most relevant to the historically minority Neighborhoods that have not historically had adequate partnership with developers on meeting the Neighborhood’s goals.)
3. How to mitigate the high rate of forceddisplacement that is currently occurring in Neighborhoods undergoing rapid transformation particularly in proximity to mass transit? The questions are surrounding how much protection can the Land Use policies of the City provide? What can/should be the complementary programs funded by the City that can mitigate the amount of forced displacement now and in the future?
4. How do we understand the Economic Impact of the proposed changes in Land Use policy in the proposed 2040 Plan?
Below we have broken out each of the 4 items to show the language as it is currently written and our recommended changes and additions. We believe that these proposed changes would greatly enhance the effectiveness of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan.
We strongly urge the City Council to focus on the desired outcomes and leave the detail strategies to the implementation phase and the approval of the Uniform Development Ordinance (UDO). We hope that these suggestions can move us forward towards having a 2040 Comprehensive Plan that more effectively meets the communities desired vision for the City.
If you agree, please copy and paste the details below and send them to the Mayor, City Council and City Manager.
1. Questions regarding allowance of duplex and triplex housing on all single-family neighborhoods while acknowledging the community desire to allow single-family housing in certain neighborhoods where higher density is not currently required while mitigating the impact of rapid Neighborhood Transitions in proximity to high frequency transit (forced displacement).
a. Policy 2.1 (Goal: Neighborhood Diversity and Inclusion)
i. Current -- Allow duplex and triplex housing units on all lotswhere single-family housing is allowed and require conformance with residential lot size requirements, setback requirements, and other site development standards specified within the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).
ii. Recommendation:Allow duplex and triplex housing units on all place types where single-family housing is allowed and require conformance with residential lot size requirements, setback requirements, and other site development standards specified within the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). Develop at least one zoning district within the UDO to allow single-family only with duplexes allowed on corner lots.
i. Current Preserve existing supply of middle density and small footprint housing and reduce conversion to large footprint single-family units using a neighborhood conservation overlay district.
ii. Recommendation: Develop within the UDO a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District (NCOD) that Council will assign to Neighborhoods identified by the Equitable Growth Framework as at near-term risk of forced displacement. The NCOD will limit the size of new/remodeled housing to mitigate the impact of Neighborhood forced displacement. In addition, encourage the development of higher density housing such as clustered home development within these overlay districts. This will help preserve existing supply of middle density and small footprint housing and reduce conversion to large footprint single-family units or high square footage duplexes.
2. Questions concerning requiring implementation of Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) to encourage developer commitment to the implementation of the broader Neighborhood Area Plan with particular emphasis on historically minority Neighborhoods.
a. Recommendation: Establish in the implementation plan a Community Benefits Stakeholder Commission that includes community benefits activist and the development community. This would include leveraging a technical assistance study to be conducted by the Urban Land Institute to identify and recommend national best practices in Neighborhood / Developer partnerships in a variety of project scopes. The goal would be to recommend implementation processes and standards that would encourage Neighborhood/Developer partnerships to implement the Area Plans broader goals including amenities. This would be in addition to the requirement that all direct/in-direct publicly funded development projects include Community Benefits. (new Policy 3.11A)
b. Policy 1.5 (Goal 1: 10-Minute Neighborhoods)
i. Current -- Secure through Community Benefit Agreements, or consider creating an incentive, to encourage housing developments that include childcare facilities or that provide funding for such facilities.
ii. Recommendation: Create incentive programs (regulatory and/or financial) to encourage development of a variety of amenities (e.g. Child Care Facilities) within At-Risk Neighborhoods. Develop project approval processes that facilitate and reward development plans that include desired Neighborhood Amenities identified in the Area Plan. The process will require active Neighborhood engagement and potentially include contributions to the Area Plan amenity implementation fund for areas beyond the scope of the development plan.
c. Proposed New Policy Statement 3.11A ((Goal 3: Housing Access for All)
i. Proposed: Require any development project receiving direct or indirect funding (e.g. TIG or CIP) from Public funds be required to follow the development approval process that requires active involvement of the Neighborhood(s) impacted in the determination of community benefits included in the projects that include public funding.
d. Policy 3.8 (Goal 3: Housing Access for All)
i. Current: -- Explore ways to encourage housing developments to include childcare facilities or that provide funding for such facilities through Community Benefit Agreements or financial or regulatory incentives.
ii. Recommendation: -- Explore ways to encourage housing developments to include Neighborhood Amenities (e.g. Child Care Facilities) identified in the Area Plan. This would include financial or regulatory incentives to encourage funding for the Area Plan amenities outside the scope of the development.
e. Policy 9.21 (Goal 9: Retain our Identity and Charm)
i. Current: -- Create a culture of developer-community collaboration through the encouragement or requirement of community benefit agreements.
ii. Recommendation: Create a culture of developer-community collaboration through the design of approval processes that require community engagement and incentivize developers to support the achievement of the Neighborhood vision in the Area Plan.
a. Recommendation: Establish an Anti-Displacement Stakeholder Committee that would recommend and oversee implementation of City programs to promote home ownership and minimize forced displacement within At-Risk Neighborhoods. The group would establish success measurements and quarterly reporting of results. The group would focus on prioritizing program implementations in Neighborhoods most At-Risk for near-term forced displacement.
b. Policy 3.4 (Goal 3: Housing Access for All)
i. Current:Implement neighborhood conservation overlay districts where appropriate to encourage preservation of existing smaller footprint and Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) units
ii. Recommendation: Leverage the implementation of the Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District (Policy 2.10) to encourage preservation of existing smaller footprint and Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) units.
c. Recommendation: Prioritize the implementation of Area Plans for Neighborhoods included in the Corridors of Opportunity and adjacent to high frequency transit. This will mitigate the near-term risk of forced displacement and provide clarity on the longer-term Neighborhood Plan and the desired community benefits. Ensure that the annual City budgets provide adequate funding for the implementation phase to complete these Area Plans within 12 months of approval of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan.
4. Economic Impact: Need to perform a Market Economic Impact Study to determine the impact on the proposed changes in the Implementation Plan and the proposed Uniform Development Ordinance (UDO).
i. Recommendation: Require the completion of a near-term market economic impact study prior to the approval of the implementation plan. This will identify risks/rewards of continuing to attract the development (commercial and residential) necessary to support our anticipated growth.