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Thread: Better way to control residential density?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Better way to control residential density?

    So I am working with my co-workers to revamp our fair City's zoning code. One of the discussions we are having is how to best control residential density. My supervisor is wanting to define the zoning districts based on dwelling units per acre (net density, after removing ROW's and Common Areas). I am in the camp of wanting to use lot area to define the zoning district, mainly due to my experience of using similar regulations in other communities. Are there any best practices? Any problems with using one method versus the other?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Ours is a hybrid, we use dwelling units per acre for our medium density residential (6 units per acre and up) districts and up because you can get a better mix of housing types/sizes in one neighborhood that way. Many of our subdivisions have environmental features like streams in them, so this calculation makes sense with the conditions here. We use lot sizes for rural, agricultural and low density residential districts.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  3. #3
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    We also use a hybrid. Maximum allowed density, no minimum required parcel size but minimum required frontage. The multifamily districts require more frontage than the single family district.
    I think that one of the great signs of security is the ability to just walk away.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian jswanek's avatar
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    What about your existing lot sizes in the older tracts? I forbid re-zoning a 6000 square foot existing legal building site to something with a 10000 square foot minimum.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richmond Jake View post
    We also use a hybrid. Maximum allowed density, no minimum required parcel size but minimum required frontage. The multifamily districts require more frontage than the single family district.
    I think we are going to explore the idea of a hybrid approach with minimum lot sizes and maximum density. From a bit of research, this seems to be how most new unified development codes are handleing this issue. Thank you everyone, you helped me think through my ideas and better prepare my case.

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