The first module of Retool deals with zoning districts and uses
In this module, Clarion took a look at the current zoning classifications and proposed modifications as well as the addition of a few new zones. They published a first draft on May 5th, which they’re working to revise due to public comments, most of which came from Pro-Housing Partnership Coalition members. We’ll see the updated draft in early March.
What we liked about the draft
The module proposed the addition of three new residential zoning districts—R-Flex Low, R-Flex Medium, and R-Flex High—designed to allow for the construction of the kind of new missing middle housing we need. These new districts would allow for things like duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes to exist next to single-family homes.
What we didn’t like about the draft
While the above zones and concept are an important addition, the module leaves existing single-family zones (R-1 6000 & R-1 9000) largely untouched. As we know, these zones make up a majority of our residential land, and are highly unlikely to be rezoned to the newly-added classifications. So if we don’t allow more flexibility in single-family zones, we won’t be able to meaningfully change our city’s housing stock—no matter how good the other zones are. Moreover, the density caps on the R-Flex Low zones is about the same as R-1 6000 right now, which is too low.
How to Comment
While the comment period for Module 1 is technically closed, we believe comments can still make a difference. The best way to comment on Module 1 at this point is to add a sentence to your comments for the other Modules that indicates that you want to see more permitted uses in existing single-family zones. If you’d like to write a more extensive comment on Module 1, you use this as a guide.