Unit Lot Subdivision

This Land Use Code Amendment (LUCA) provides for fee-simple ownership of lots on which townhome dwellings are placed. Allowing for fee-simple ownership of townhomes advances the city’s Affordable Housing Strategy, specifically Strategy B calling for the creation of a variety of housing choices.

What is Happening Now?

The Planning Commission held its public hearing on the Land Use Code Amendment on January 13. The recommendation to approve this LUCA without modification was voted on and passed by the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission recommendation to approve this LUCA without modification will be presented to the City Council on February 1. The City Council is then anticipated to take final action on February 22.

Background

In 2017, the City Council adopted the Affordable Housing Strategy in recognition of the affordable housing crisis in the city and committed to implement specific recommendations to increase the supply of affordable housing. Specifically, the unit lot subdivision LUCA responds to the City Council’s interest to create a variety of housing choices that appeal to people at different income levels and life stages (Strategy B).

The LUCA

The proposed LUCA will amend the subdivision regulations in the Land Use Code (LUC) chapters 20.45A Platting and Subdivisions and 20.45B Short Plats and Short Subdivisions, to allow for unit lot subdivisions in land use districts where multifamily development may be built.

This LUCA will not change the current requirements, including development density and intensity, applicable to townhome development in the city. A unit lot subdivision will simply create a “parent” lot for the overall site, and individual unit lots for the townhomes. Development standards such as setbacks, lot coverage by structure, impervious surface coverage and minimum lot area will be applied to the parent lot instead of the individual unit lots. Once completed, the townhomes constructed through a unit lot subdivision will have the same appearance as a townhouse development allowed by current multifamily zoning requirements. The only difference is that a unit lot subdivision will allow for an individual townhouse unit to be owned in fee-simple.

Goals

This LUCA is intended to minimize barriers for infill development and allow for individual townhouse units to be owned in fee simple as an alternative to condominium ownership. Fee simple ownership means absolute title in improvements of the townhouse unit and the land.

The Unit Lot Subdivision LUCA is in response to the City’s Affordable Housing Strategy (AHS) adopted in 2017. Notably, the City Council has affirmed an interest in creating a variety of housing choices (Strategy B) which appeal to people at different income levels and life stages. Providing a broad range of homeownership opportunities, including fee simple townhouses, promotes mixed-income neighborhoods, allows for a diversity of housing types, and increases available housing choices for all economic segments of the population. 

Upcoming Opportunities to Engage

Please send comments to the contact listed on this page. The Planning Commission held its public hearing on the Land Use Code Amendment on January 13. The recommendation to approve this LUCA without modification was voted on and passed by the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission’s recommendation will be presented to the City Council for a study session on February 2, before the Council takes final action on February 22.

Key Items

Anticipated Date

Planning Commission Study Session

December 9, 2020

Planning Commission Public Hearing

January 13, 2020

City Council Study Session February 1, 2021
EBCC Courtesy Public Hearing February 2, 2021
City Council Action (tentative) February 22, 2021
EBCC Public Hearing and Approval/Disapproval March 2, 2021