As some of you may know, City staff has been working on ideas for a new ordinance governing infill to apply to R-6 and R-9 zoning districts (both single family residential with different lot sizes). The new rules would also apply to additions to existing homes if adding more than 25% to the floor area, a garage, or a second floor. This is in response to citizen complaints about recent developments not being in character with existing neighborhoods. New homes or additions would have to be more consistent with existing homes on a block by block basis.
Some of the areas being addressed include:
- Lot width and size averaging
- Number of stories
- Transitional heights in side yards (extra height could not go all the way to setback line)
- Backyard privacy
- Limits on building volumes, such as floor area ratio or lot percentage coverage
- Garage locations
- Street trees
- Detention pond location
These proposed changes have been presented to neighborhood association presidents and builders. This information will be presented in a City Council workshop on Monday, November 4 (City Hall, 9th floor conference room), and this is open to the public. They are scheduled to present it to the Planning Commission in a public hearing on November 14, but depending on feedback received this may be delayed until December. It is very important that you attend these meetings to emphasize to city staff that this is an important issue to you.
NMCA has formed a task force which is actively working on a formal statement addressing these issues and other issues of concern to our membership. We will keep you posted. If you have concerns or comments, please let us know by posting on our website.