Housing & Subdivisions
Planners can respond to a lack of affordable housing by leveraging the regulatory and institutional tools at their disposal. This article will highlight a few tools and strategies within a framework of three “levers” of affordability: facilitate the development of income-restricted affordable housing; mitigate residential displacement; and encourage expansion of overall housing supply. by Jamin Kimmell and Catherine Corliss, AICP
It takes a lot of work to rewrite ordinance. Often, there is only time to address specific problems as they present themselves, leaving the entire ordinance to slowly become a confusing jumble of relevant information mixed with outdated language. Eventually, the ordinance has to be reviewed in its entirety, not just to update anything that was missed in prior targeted revisions but also to create a code that is user-friendly. In the right circumstances, this daunting task can be a fun and informative process that can be accomplished in-house. by Erin Callahan, AICP
Durango, like most Western towns, is surrounded by wild places and open vistas that many want to protect. In the early 2000s, organized wildlife advocates and anti-growth proponents had enough support to defeat two large-scale community development projects, Three Springs and River Trails Ranch. The third project, Twin Buttes, underwent a multi-year review process and one of the most contentious approvals for any project Durango. The Twin Buttes development eventually achieved its first major approval in 2009 but just completed its first house in the fall 2017. All three projects, but especially the Twin Buttes project, have created a blueprint of how to pass a large-scale community development project in a western town. by Mark Williams, Durango, Colorado
Nothing in the current housing discussion has created the same stir like the tiny house movement and Spearfish, South Dakota has wrestled with trying to understand where this option fits into the menu of choices for housing in the city. The bottom line is that although they are not for everyone, the people who seek the tiny house lifestyle need the same amount of help and assistance to realize their dream as those who are building traditionally constructed homes. by Jayna Watson, AICP
Columnist Bill Detweiler examines how rapid growth as led to newer planned developments being perceived as dense, compact housing in Castle Rock, Colorado.
Cappie recently built the first straw bale/cob home with a state-approved gray water system and composting toilet. by Jayna Watson
Redevelopment of mobile home parks can cause challenges if the residents cannot afford to move or find affordable replacement housing. by Shelby Sommer in collaboration with Don Elliott, Ken Waido, and Ishbel Dickens
Zombie subdivisions can be reconfigured for more open space or turned over to other uses, but the far better policy is to prevent the phenomenon in the first place. by Anthony Flint
A Housing First project, Karluk Manor addresses housing for chronically homeless alcoholics in Anchorage, Alaska. By Maryellen Tuttell, AICP.