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Thread: Single family or two family

  1. #26
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    A couple of points.

    I do realize that to a certain anti-urban mindset an area composed exclusively of SFDs is more desirable. I'm questioning that there shoulkd be someone in govt. spending resources to enforce this sort of prejudice. I can understand if a community wants to impose some restrictions to building but how micro do you want them to be before they becoem a form fo teh majority bullyign the minority?

    I hope that my words did not seem like a broad-brush insult to Cyburbia or planners. It just seems that lately rather than about planning a lot of questions have to do with really, really titchy micro-management of small issues that do not seem to me like they are 'community' (i.e. public sector) concerns.

  2. #27
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Luca View post
    ...a lot of questions have to do with really, really titchy micro-management of small issues that do not seem to me like they are 'community' (i.e. public sector) concerns.
    Welcome to the daily lives of most current development planners. Yes, such stuff can be considered "titchy" (nice word), but unfortunately these are the type of things that elicit the most questions because the mintuae of the titchy things are sometimes the most difficult to define and regulate.

    I think you perhaps underestimate the "buttinsky" nature of the average house owner. This is where much of this mirco-management stems from in many communities.

    Also, remember Cyburbia is here for everything relating to all aspects of Planning - from grand masterplanning to mundane regulating of pool placement.

    Perhaps you should go talk to your local development planner and see what they have to deal with. I heard many stories that England is notorious for mirco-management in planning.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Every day is today. Yesterday is a myth and tomorrow an illusion.

  3. #28
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Luca View post
    I do realize that to a certain anti-urban mindset an area composed exclusively of SFDs is more desirable. I'm questioning that there shoulkd be someone in govt. spending resources to enforce this sort of prejudice. I can understand if a community wants to impose some restrictions to building but how micro do you want them to be before they becoem a form fo teh majority bullyign the minority?

    I hope that my words did not seem like a broad-brush insult to Cyburbia or planners. It just seems that lately rather than about planning a lot of questions have to do with really, really titchy micro-management of small issues that do not seem to me like they are 'community' (i.e. public sector) concerns.
    I agree that demonizing 2-family residences shouldn't be a public sector goal, but the reality (in much of the US anyway) is that the community often makes it a concern - even when there is no extra density involved. Municipal planners often have to help communities implement policies they don't necessary agree with. (Like age restricted housing )

  4. #29
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    The only age-restricted housing that's legal is for the senior citizens, is that correct?

  5. #30
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post
    Welcome to the daily lives of most current development planners. Yes, such stuff can be considered "titchy" (nice word), but unfortunately these are the type of things that elicit the most questions because the mintuae of the titchy things are sometimes the most difficult to define and regulate.

    I think you perhaps underestimate the "buttinsky" nature of the average house owner. This is where much of this mirco-management stems from in many communities.

    Also, remember Cyburbia is here for everything relating to all aspects of Planning - from grand masterplanning to mundane regulating of pool placement.

    Perhaps you should go talk to your local development planner and see what they have to deal with. I heard many stories that England is notorious for mirco-management in planning.

    We have world-class NYMBYs

    A very nice neighbor came round the other day to sign me up to a perition agaisnt someone who was developing a 'bungalow' (in British usagfe, a single-story house). into a larger-footprint two-story semi (a duplex in US terms). this in a neighborhood where 80-90% of properties are semis and the remander msotly 3-4story partment buildings...

    I had to explain to him that as far as I'm concerned, the development was fine. We're friendly so he dind't mind too much but I coudl tell he was disappointed.

  6. #31
          Downtown's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    How would one enforce this?
    We have an annual inspection on MIL apartments.

  7. #32
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    There are a multitude of reasons for the high prices in California, but a lot of it goes back to building soooo many single family homes on 1/8 to 1/4 acre lots in the 40's-70's. Now, the population increases haven't stopped, and we're out of land in the areas that are still creating jobs (and auto congestion in most areas is mind-boggling).
    Without knowing the zoning regulations in place, I've seen parts of Auckland and Christchurch (NZ's largest cities) be transformed by "infill housing", where second dwellings of a similar size are built adjacent to the original property on the section (=lot), much for the same reasons as CJC describes above. Property values are high even though a lot of green space gets swallowed up. This led me to wonder whether the use of the term "infill housing" indicates that an area has been re-zoned to higher density as a deliberate strategy?

    I did some research and discovered that my home city of Wellington (which is a long way away right now!) is currently grappling with this issue and has a strategy out for consultation:

    The Council is considering a more targeted approach to infill housing, which will direct infill housing to areas of the city best able to cope with it.

    The Council proposes that there be:
    * Areas of stability:
    Infill housing would be tightly controlled or not allowed at all. This would provide certainty for residents but limit development opportunities for property owners and developers.
    * Areas of limited infill:
    Infill housing would be allowed to occur but with a greater focus on quality.
    * Areas of change:
    Re-development of housing would be encouraged in these areas, resulting in moderate to significant increases in residential density. Small-scale, ad hoc infill housing may be disallowed in these areas.
    If you're interested in reading about the proposed approach, see http://www.wellington.govt.nz/haveyo...es-infill.html - the discussion paper is worth a read and it includes lots of pics of new build in Wellington.

  8. #33
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    Thank you for your on-topic comments.

    Based on those comments, I went back to the wording of our ordinance, and it actually states under R-1:

    "Single-family detached dwellings with only one principle dwelling per lot." (emphasis added by me)

    and

    "Accessory uses and structures associated with the use of the land for residential purposes." (again emphasis added by me)

    Therefore, it seems that a pool house, or guest house, or granny house would be permissible in our Single Family district, as long as it was not larger than the principle dwelling.

    But of course if one did construct it larger than the original principle dwelling, then it would become the new principle dwelling, and no regulation is broken. Right?

    Then, our Single-Family district essentially can become a two family or even a multifamily district (as long as there is enough room and they are "detached").

    Bummer.

    I think we need to insert language stating that the second dwelling can only be a certain percentage of the "principle" dwelling as some have suggested earlier.

  9. #34
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Downtown View post
    We have an annual inspection on MIL apartments.
    Good God, talk about Big Brother!

    Here is our code:

    Accessory apartments: Accessory apartments will be allowed in the R-7, R-10, R-15, R-20, and PD districts if the following criteria are met:

    (a) One accessory apartment per lot;
    (b) Two (2) additional off-street parking spaces are required;
    (c) The accessory apartment shall not be permitted in addition to a garage apartment;
    (d) The owner of the principle structure must live in one (1) of the units;
    (e) The accessory apartment shall have a separate entrance screened from the public right-of-way;
    (f) There shall be no exterior changes to the principal structure noticeable from the public right-of-way;
    (g) A site plan shall be submitted for approval to the City Manager; and
    (h) The accessory unit shall be a minimum of two hundred (200) square feet and a maximum of thirty-five (35) percent of the gross floor area of the principal structure in size.

  10. #35
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Streck View post
    Thank you for your on-topic comments.

    Based on those comments, I went back to the wording of our ordinance, and it actually states under R-1:

    "Single-family detached dwellings with only one principle dwelling per lot." (emphasis added by me)

    and

    "Accessory uses and structures associated with the use of the land for residential purposes." (again emphasis added by me)

    Therefore, it seems that a pool house, or guest house, or granny house would be permissible in our Single Family district, as long as it was not larger than the principle dwelling.

    But of course if one did construct it larger than the original principle dwelling, then it would become the new principle dwelling, and no regulation is broken. Right?

    Then, our Single-Family district essentially can become a two family or even a multifamily district (as long as there is enough room and they are "detached").

    Bummer.

    I think we need to insert language stating that the second dwelling can only be a certain percentage of the "principle" dwelling as some have suggested earlier.
    I think you should check the definitions in your ordinance- it may define secondary accessory dwellings a particular way. Also, "principal" and "accessory" aren't usually only determined by size- in our ordinance, the first house you build is the principal structure. So if I build a garage thats 6000 square feet, its still not the principal.

  11. #36
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    Good point, K,

    I checked our definition for Accessory use, and it did not affect the issue in our case.

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