We have several older sections of town where sometime in the 70's, an 8000 ft2 zoning was applied despite most lots being less than this. Due to this inappropriate zoning, more than 70% of the properties are non-compliant based upon lot area, width, or setbacks.
As a result, most changes to a structure must be approved by the board of adjustment, a body whose opinions can often be arbitrary.
We are trying to change this to a 5000 ft2 district with reduced setbacks to better reflect the actual development patterns.
Surprisingly (or not), we are getting resistance from residents who like the status quo and are worried about towering Mc-Mansions built next door to their cottage. There is nothing in the new zoning which would encurage this other than perhaps the reduced setbacks. The homes in these areas are mostly from 70 to 300 years old, but most are not protected by historical designation. There are very few empty lots and this change will make a few larger lots sub-dividable, but nothing significant.
I'm trying to come up with some arguments in favor of re-zoning other than "it's the right thing to do" and "makes staff's life easier". Any suggestions?