There is an interesting discussion about the Infill Tool Kit taking place on the Sunnyland Neighborhood’s Google site. (Click here to read the email exchange.)
Here is a sampler:
“Regarding proposed the city proposed infill toolkit: Why not have some areas with lower density? Shouldn't we wait until existing multi-family zoned areas are near capacity before encroaching into single family neighborhoods? We should be talking more about adding trees, shrubs, and green areas to our beautiful city, and less about cramming shabby tract style housing into our unique single family neighborhoods. The city can't even regulate the many existing illegal rooming houses. Imagine the new triplex looming over your back yard, which is then later divided up internally to house double the original permitted residents, complete with all their cars zooming up and down your alley. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with this picture if you enjoy it and consciously buy into such a neighborhood, but to have it shoved down your throat after supposedly buying into a single family zoned area is another thing entirely. Imagine what might happen if the city were to propose such infill into the Edgemoor neighborhood!”
One theme is that of trust of the city government with respect to its desire and capability to enforce any parts of the Took Kit, especially those which can have an effect on the single family neighborhoods such as accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and carriage houses. I have published two recent blog entries (click here and here to read them) on the Tool Kit and a recent (albeit anecdotal) ADU problem. A resident writes:
“As I see it...the city currently doesn't even (I could be wrong) have a code enforcement employee to make sure that compliance is being enforced and if you put all the regulations that are on such dwellings in the in-fill kit -specifically owner occupied units...who's going to enforce it, how's it going to be enforced, and what will be the consequences for non-compliance? Too many unanswered questions in my opinion to be comfortable with the tool kit as written. As it is, I have enough poorly maintained rentals surrounding me and I just can't do with anymore. I have a lot of neighbors in my vicinity that will agree with me on this subject but really even if you call the litter control officer it has taken up to eight weeks for the properties to get rid of the garbage piles […] So, as you can understand, I have no faith in the current system the city has for compliance...and this has nothing to do with the officer who is doing his job he is good at it but his hands are tied until the owners of the property do something.”
[Zonemaven Comment: For the record, the city has a Neighborhood Enforcement Officer, formerly the Litter Control Officer, who was “beknighted” last year by the City Council with additional duties relating to the enforcement of the code on illegal rooming houses.]
The Planning Commission is meeting again this Thursday, 30 April at 7pm to complete the hearing on the Infill Tool Kit. (Click here to read the relevant materials from the 16 April hearing which is still open through Thursday’s meeting). You can still provide oral testimony or you can send written comments to the Planning Commission. Check their contact information by clicking here.