The Planning and Zoning Commission recommends that city council adopt zoning changes for single-family residential design standards to avoid potential multi-family duplex structures in single-family zoning districts.
Director of Development Services John Wesley presented the proposed changes to the commission in November after concerns were raised about the potential duplex structures proposed for single-family zoning.
“On several occasions over the past few months, staff have received plans for building permits for single-family homes that look a lot like duplexes,” Wesley said in his staff report. “These houses give the appearance of a duplex from the street and could very easily be modified to turn them into a duplex.
“Because they met all the technical requirements of the zoning ordinance and building codes as single-family homes, staff had to approve the applications.
“Because the property is zoned for single-family uses, they couldn’t legally be converted to a duplex, but it could be very tempting to do so without the proper permits and give the appearance of a duplex in the neighborhood. “
The proposed order of council provides for restrictions on the design and placement of garage doors. A three-car garage should provide that one door is offset from the width of the two-car door. Any four-car layout should not have more than one two-car driveway facing the main street. A second garage for two cars must not be visible from the street.
There can be no more than one recognized access by the main entrance on the street side of the house.
The front facade of the house must not have mirror images of each half of the building.
There cannot be more than one main kitchen in the accommodation. All other food preparation areas must meet the permitted requirements for guesthouses or neighborhoods.
With the exception of what is permitted for guest houses, all finished spaces inside the house must be accessible from other areas of the accommodation without having to exit. No fire wall can separate one part of the house from another.
A house is not considered a single-family residence if it is designed with more than one separate living area when each area includes at least five of the following: bedrooms; ¾ or larger bathrooms; Laundry room; kitchen or food preparation area; separate water heater; direct access separated from the front of the property or from the garage; separate HVAC system and thermostats; electrical service from sub-panels aligned with separate living areas of the house.
The city council is due to consider the amendments at its second session in January, Tuesday, January 18.