• Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no echo chambers. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! You can also register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

attached vs. detached housing

Glomer

Member
Messages
207
Points
9
It's been a while since I've been in the forum.....forgive me father for I have sinned!

OK....here is my question.

A city I work with recently adopted a future land use plan for which it designated some (R-1A areas (large lot, large home) and some low density areas. The city has generally defined low density has being 3 units per gross acre or 4 units per net acre. Because of this designation and because of the market, developers are bringing in plans that always include attached housing. They average their density and they remain in the 3 units per acre (low density) that we have designated the area.

Anyhow, the city would like to have more control...or at least feel that they have more control. My plan is to find some research on the percentage of attached/detached housing in my community compared to others....but do you guys have any ideas on regulating the amount of attached development without killing the market????
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Heck, we can't get attached product at 8-12 du/acre. We would love to have your "problem."
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I see the same trend in many communities. Developers are tending to want to build mixed-density developments as it gives them a wider product mix to target different market segments. Frankly, that should be seen as a benefit because it promotes more diverse neighborhoods.
 

Glomer

Member
Messages
207
Points
9
I'm not disputing that a mix of development leads to a more diverse development.

Have you heard of any percentages used to control the amount of diversity in a development site.....for instance lets say an 80 acre site is designated for low density residential development in the comp plan. (3 units a gross acre) A city may allow a mixture of density through a PUD if the site is equal to ....... number of acres and only 25% of the site may be attached housing.

Anyone have any of these regulations?
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
39
Our board had a hard time accepting attached housing in detached, single-family areas, even though it was an efficient use of small, infill parcels that could not reasonably be developed as detached housing. We did not, however, get the low densities that you're seeing. More in the 6 to 10 units per net acre range, I guess.

It is only a very small percentage of the housing market here, and I don't think we'd want to restrict such development, because it's providing a popular option and seems much more upscale than most of our existing condo/townhouse developments.
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,195
Points
26
Don't know if this is what your looking for, but we have something in our PUD ordinance that can limit the amount of commercial area in a PUD. Obviously it would have to be reworded, but maybe something similar could be helpful for your situation?

"The amount of land devoted to commercial use in a residential-commercial development shall be determined by the Planning Commission and approved by the City Council. When the planned unit development proposes a mixture of residential uses with commercial uses, the Planning Commission may limit the development to not more than eight percent of the tract to commercial uses."
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
On a related note, here is a great quote from a developers' insurance agent:

"We would rather insure a nuclear power plant than insure attached housing in California."

Out here, attached units mean a $50,000/unit loss ($20,000/unit price reduction+$30,000 per unit extra insurance costs).

Hence, no attached housing.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Hartford, WI regulated the community's overall mix by %. In the case of attached single family, the limit was 15%.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
We can limit the amount by an overall dwelling units per acre count. For instance our very low denstiy is considered 0-2.5 units per acre, and low density is 2.5-3.5. Developers can mix in whatever housing they like, but they still would need to meet something in thoseranges. We will deviate (and have before) if the architecture is outstanding; I've also seen it done with strong plans and market study showing the development will work.
 
Top