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Planning Commission, Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Video, Legistar meeting details.

Repeated presentation on UDC ordinance revisions from last time (allow churches in M1; adjust minimum lot area & dimensions in R2A to bring in line with R1D; Marijuana dispensaries, etc.).

Responded to question from last time to say that they've found they don't have sufficient data to summarize why remaining R2A parcels would remain nonconforming after revisions.

Disch asked why a couple setbacks are still larger in R2A than R1D, why? Staff says: they were focused on nonconforming lots for now, not nonconforming structures, which is a slightly different problem. Also: side setback at least is less interesting since building code issues also make the smaller setback impractical anyway. In the end, they did amend to decrease rear setbacks.

Someone asked about fourplexes. R2A doesn't allow them, but staff says there are (if I heard right) about 350 (out of total 1700-ish?) R2A parcels that might be large enough for two duplexes (or to split lots into two).

Skimmed over a bunch, including a drawn-out discussion of the marijuana licensing change. Which I didn't follow. But it kinda feels like something went wrong that people were at the meeting and still confused about how this works.

I mostly skipped a discussion of an expansion of the Chinese Christian Church on Dhu Varren.

Maple Cove 2: apartment complex at Maple & Miller: public comment disappointed in use of gas heating in new apartment construction.

Entirely too much time talking about council proposal to ask UM to build more housing on North Campus, something which council has no authority to do.

DIscussion of the city's policy agenda--this is what we think the state should do. Also something the city has no authority over, but we do have some influence--though not much given the current legislature's composition. One item of relevance to planning is: "support and advocate for the ability of cities to incorporate inclusionary zoning practices and affordability incentives into their land development codes." It's tempting to try to meet our affordability goals by imposing mandates on new development--that feels like something we can get "for free". The problem is it tends to discourage new private development, which is (by far) the main source of new housing supply, and therefore makes housing overall more expensive. Commissioner Clarke therefore expresses some skepticism, which I share. I'm a little unclear what the outcome was.