Housing Choice LUMOTA
Housing Choice LUMOTA
Chapel Hill's available housing units do not meet the needs of current and future residents. Many individuals and families are cost burdened and search for housing outside of the community. Planning staff propose introducing small-scale residential development of less than five (5) units into the existing fabric of single-family neighborhoods. This strategy, referred to as “gentle density,” will allow for the construction of missing middle housing – duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, cottages on compact lots, and cottage courts—that fosters inclusiveness by providing for the diverse needs of current and future residents.
Housing Choices for a Complete Community Ordinance:
A copy of the draft ordinance outlining the proposed text amendments to the Land Use Management Ordinance is available here.
Housing Choices for a Complete Community:
The Chapel Hill Town Council initiated a Complete Community Strategy to identify shared interests around a new approach to housing that clarifies where and how to build to be an inclusive, sustainable, and an economically competitive community.
What is a Complete Community?
A “complete community” is one that provides diverse options for housing and transportation for all income levels. It considers more transportation options and connectivity, mixed and efficient uses of land, healthy environments, job growth and business diversity, and an involved citizenry that helps define a community’s unique character and sense of place.
The proposed text amendments introduce missing middle housing in existing residential neighborhoods. Missing middle encompasses different forms of housing between detached single-family houses to mid-rise apartments. Examples of small-scale residential development include duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes which can be found in Chapel Hill, though fewer have been produced in recent decades.
This initiative supports Complete Communities by:
- Expanding opportunities for diverse housing types that meet different price points, life stages, and preferences
- Encouraging housing types that are compatible with existing single-family neighborhoods
- Strategically increasing the density of neighborhoods in a manner that is mindful of existing homes and promotes the use of greenways, trails, and transit.
Town Council has expressed interest and support for diversifying the community’s housing stock through various initiatives including the following long-range plans and reports:
- Chapel Hill 2020 Comprehensive Plan
- Future Land Use Map
- Mobility & Connectivity Plan
- Climate Action & Response Plan
- Council Petition Regarding Affordable and Missing Middle Housing
- Projected Housing Needs, 2020-2040
- Complete Community Strategy
Project Update (January 5, 2023):
Staff has continued to make revisions to the draft ordinance above based on community feedback and additional research. In addition to the Missing Middle Housing types proposed in the draft ordinance, staff is also exploring the following:
- Expanding the zoning districts that allow Missing Middle Housing forms
- Introduce additional housing types as well as design standards for the following uses:
- Cottages on compact lots. These are smaller detached dwellings containing up to two units with a maximum floor area of 1,600 square feet on lots measuring a minimum of 2,700 square feet.
- Cottage Courts. This development type allows clusters of three to twelve cottages, each measuring no more than 1,500 square feet in size, to be built around a landscaped central courtyard.
Project Update (February 3, 2023):
During their January 25, 2023, meeting, Town Council held a public hearing to discuss the draft ordinance and to hear feedback from the community. A video of the hearing is available here (beginning at the 23-minute mark).
Since the January 25 hearing, staff has continued to refine the draft ordinance and engage with community members.
A list of public meetings and additional information is available here.
Housing Choice LUMOTA - Public Information Session
Town staff will share information and answer questions related to the Housing Choices for a Complete Community text amendment that is scheduled for Council consideration on Wednesday, January 25th. For more information on the proposed text amendments, please visit the Town's PublicInput page:https://publicinput.com/W12678.
Anyone wishing to submit feedback on the proposed text amendment prior to the January 25th Council meeting is encouraged to do so.