City Council voted unanimously to extend the Interim Zoning District (IZD) in the Uptown University Area for another year. This IZD, in an attempt to stop the conversion of doubles to dorms by high-end developers will effectively prevent the production of affordable housing in the neighborhood. By approving the IZD the Council has set forth a per bedroom off street parking requirement. This inevitably will increase the cost of housing in the area.
The City Planning Commission voted to deny this IZD as it is and provided a study which included recommendations such as limiting the number of parking permits per household to two, developing shared parking lots to accommodate commercial and residential uses, and expanding the ability of HDLC staff to review major renovations and new construction. However, the council overruled the CPCs denial and passed the per bedroom parking requirement.
Off street parking spaces cost nearly $5,000, this is a cost the high-end developers can afford. However, this is not a cost our non-profit affordable housing developer partners, who are already working close to their margins, can afford. While affordable housing is included as an exemption within the motion that was passed, developers would have to pay $1,000 in order to go through an unclear and cumbersome appeals process. In the midst of a public health crisis, we need our city leaders to #PutHousingFirst and they didn’t yesterday. We want to thank everyone who sent in comments and assure you that we must continue to demand substantive change until that happens. In two weeks, the council will once again be faced with another decision to #FixtheMix and pass the Smart Housing Mix after two years and we can’t allow them to fail us again.