As I wrote shortly after the demise of CodeNEXT, just because City Council is giving up on a comprehensive overhaul of the land development code does not mean there aren’t ample opportunities to allow more density throughout the city.
From a policy perspective, it makes sense to do a comprehensive code re-write every once in a while. But politically, more discrete routes that do not lend themselves to yard signs and petitions might be more effective at actually accomplishing the goals.
Council Member Jimmy Flannigan said that he would seek to change the wording. He is not opposed to the plan emphasizing that the neighborhood would be dominated by “house-scale” buildings, but he does not think that the buildings should have to be single-family homes. They should also include other types of “missing middle” housing, he said, such as duplexes, triplexes or fourplexes.
Flannigan, the only renter on Council, noted that he lived in a “house-scale” duplex himself.
“It looks like a single-family home that I frankly couldn’t afford to live in, in the rest of my neighborhood,” he said.
Mayor Steve Adler tried to stake out a middle position. He suggested that he supported approving the neighborhood plan as proposed and that the debate over density might be more appropriate for a “much longer conversation” about citywide changes to the Land Development Code that he has asked City Manager Spencer Cronk to consider in the wake of CodeNEXT’s demise.