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City Council Regular
PC 18-24, Consider Adoption of Ordinance 2217 to Allow Single Family Homes in PORT Evergreen
Scott Harlicker, Planner
The City Council is being asked to approve Ordinance 2217 to allow single family homes as a permitted use in PORT Evergreen.
At a workshop last fall, the City Council asked staff to research the possibility of allowing single family homes as a permitted use in PORT Evergreen. Gaughan Companies has been assembling properties, including 9 single family lots, in PORT Evergreen over the past 10 to 15 years. Their goal was to offer them for sale as a development package. They have been unable to find developers so they are offering the single family lots for sale individually. These single family lots are clustered in the area fronting on Flintwood Street and 94th Lane.
There are 19 single family lots in PORT Evergreen, excluding an existing home on Coon Rapids Boulevard. There are two vacant lots. Gaughan companies owns nine of the lots, including one vacant parcel; the City owns one vacant parcel and remaining lots are owned by individuals. For comparison, there is one single family home in PORT Riverwalk and no single family homes in PORTs Campus Square and Wellness.
Under current code, single family homes are not a permitted use and existing homes are considered a non-conforming use. Single family homes outside of the PORTs, that are considered non-conforming uses, can be expanded by up to 20% with a conditional use permit and are allowed to construct garages, decks and other accessory structures by right. If they are located within a PORT, the home cannot be expanded, but new garages, decks and other accessory structures are allowed.
Because of their age, many of the homes in this area are in need of repair, upgrades and expansions. Property owners have been reluctant or unable to make improvements because of their non-conforming status. The proposed ordinance amendment would encourage and allow homeowners to make needed investments in their homes, and allow the vacant lots to be developed with single family homes. The City has also recently made investments in the area; in 2015 the streets and curb/gutters in this neighborhood were reconstructed.
The proposed ordinance would exempt single family homes from the regulations of the PORT District and River Rapids Overlay District. The standards found in the Section 11-603 Low Density Residential 2 and the general regulations found in Section 11-601 would apply.
Planning Commission Meeting
At the Planning Commission meeting held on December 20th, no one spoke at the public hearing. As an alternative to the proposed amendment, the Commission discussed the option of removing the study area out of PORT Evergreen. They decided it would be better to keep the redevelopment options available under the PORT zoning open and allow single family homes per the proposed ordinance. To further define the applicable area, the Commission included language preventing lots with frontage on Foley Boulevard from being developed as single family homes. The Commission voted 3:2 to recommend approval of the proposed ordinance.
City Council Meeting
At the January 15th meeting, the City Council introduced the proposed ordinance. Council asked about compatibility with the proposed apartment project. Staff responded that the two are compatible and that the proposed change would allow home owners the opportunity for easier financing for improvements. Staff also explained that the underlying zoning will remain PORT Evergreen and that future development, other than single family, will have to comply with the design standards.
In Planning Case 18-24, the Council approve the attached Ordinance 2217 to allow single family homes as a permitted use in PORT Evergreen.
Summary Ordinance 2217
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