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City of Decatur seeking public input on missing middle housing

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City of Decatur seeking public input on missing middle housing

Decatur City Hall.

Decatur, GA — In the coming months, residents in Decatur will have various opportunities to share their thoughts on the city’s efforts to address missing middle housing and once again allow duplexes, triplexes and quadplexes in city neighborhoods, according to an announcement from the city.

This was a recommendation of the Affordable Housing Task Force. This type of housing would have to conform to the size limitations of single family homes. Duplexes, triplexes and quadplexes were allowed in Decatur until 1988, and then it was disallowed due to absentee ownership, Affordable Housing Fellow Kristin Allin said at the May 2 Decatur City Commission meeting.

“One thing that the task force came to realize was that that is a problem that no longer exists in Decatur, as far as the value of housing that’s gone up and the disbursement of the larger homes and homeowners being displaced and the smaller homes torn down,” Allin said. “We have an increasing number of larger homes and less housing diversity since that decision was made in 1988. Now, we’re looking at a different problem in Decatur, which is increasing our supply of affordable housing and also increasing the supply of smaller units, so the missing middle housing can help with both of those.”

Such diversification of housing types can go a long way towards broadening the income diversity of Decatur’s residents, creating a more inclusive and welcoming community, the announcement from the city said.

The city has two zoning proposals that will come before the city commission related to missing middle housing after the city gathers public input.

One proposal would allow up to four units in the same footprint as a single family home, as long as they comply with the size, lot coverage and setback requirements of a single family home. The second proposal would to allow a portion of parking to be on the street frontage in front of a new or convert multi-unit dwelling.

If a quadplex were built it would be required to have one car per unit, so instead of having all four cars on-site, the proposal would allow two of the cars to be on the street frontage in front of the quadplex.

“That is in line with the strategic plan because there are a lot of people that have come forward in our outreach sessions that are concerned about trees and stormwater, so this was a good compromise we felt to go out to the community with to allow a portion of this parking to be on the street,” Allin said. “That would only be if there was enough frontage, curb frontage and also if parking is allowed on that street in general.”

Comments must be submitted to the city by July 31. Here’s how to provide feedback:

– Pop-Up comment tent at the Decatur Arts Fest on May 7 on the Square.

– Host a small group discussion with Decatur’s Affordable Housing Fellow. Email [email protected] to arrange a session, learn about the zoning proposals, and ask questions.

– Attend the forum. Issues raised and questions asked will be addressed on Aug. 17 in an online forum.

– Call the Missing Middle Housing Hotline. Provide comments by calling (470) 868-5114.

– Submit questions online and read about proposed Missing Middle zoning changes, and submit questions using the Pre-Forum Interview here. This online questionnaire will be open through July 31. Questions will be addressed at the online forum.

Further details and specifics can be found at decaturga.com/affordablehousing.

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