Single-family zoning under threat in Gainesville

As surprising as it may seem, please note that the Gainesville City Commission may be on the verge of eliminating single family zoning throughout Gainesville. As longtime resident owners of Gainesville, we have just become aware of this harrowing possibility and wanted to spread the word to the citizens of Gainesville’s many single-family neighborhoods.

The commission is organizing a workshop on this subject on Tuesday, June 21 at 1 p.m. before making any final decision. As such, we encourage all affected owners to email the curators and attend the workshop, if possible.

To be fair, the main stated goal of this city effort is laudable: to increase the supply of affordable housing. Accordingly, we recognize and appreciate that the Municipal Board and staff are well intentioned in this effort. We’re pretty sure that most of us in the Gainesville community are, in fact, very supportive of improving affordable housing.

Unfortunately, the likely ramifications are vast and alarming. More importantly, the city’s current proposals will convert single-family homes into “neighborhood residentials.” For example, it would allow the construction of four units on any lot of half an acre or more, and eight units on any lot of one or more acres.

Additionally, the associated proposals would eliminate room and occupancy limits and allow for essentially unlimited parking. Such changes may well turn current homeownership neighborhoods into “rental neighborhoods.” The enjoyment and land values ​​of homes immediately adjacent to rentals would surely decline.

A fundamental concern is the alarming lack of data, analysis and evidence to support these propositions. Despite the city’s years of attention to this worthy cause, including the engagement of national consultants, no evidence has been presented to show that this approach will be successful and will not result in many negative consequences. and unforeseen for our neighborhoods.

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