Started at 5PM
Present – Julie Jones, Joe Brown, Michael Owings, Tyler Harwood, and Allen Johnson from the FMIA.
The meeting was to discuss Zoning Docket 41/20. If a building was multifamily at any point in the past but since converted to single family, to change back to multiple units currently requires a conditional use in some zoning districts. This change would make it a permitted use. Bywater has a number of properties that would be affected by this change. The proposal already went through City Planning and was approved. The only vote against it was by Commissioner Stewart, who thought they needed more input from the neighborhoods. FMIA submitted a letter to the CPC, but it was lost and not included in the report. The letter addresses multiple concerns that were never discussed in the report. City Council will vote on the motion at an upcoming meeting. There is a lot of information in the proposal and the ultimate goal is not abundantly clear, but in their report the CPC introduced the possibility it could increase affordable housing. The definition of “affordable housing” isn’t clear, and there is no guarantee the property owners would make units affordable. The risk is that these properties may be split up to make more STRs or smaller “pied-à-terres” for non-residents. It will be difficult to enforce homestead exemption, and the current STR regulations have proven to be difficult to enforce. Property owners would also be allowed to expand the footprint of their buildings. More STRs or vacation homes would mean less voters and less money for struggling essential local businesses.
NFB should take a position and write a letter to City Council. We discussed whether we should ask for our neighborhood to be taken out of the proposal, or ask for a full ban of STRs in the affected properties. The FMIA is asking to be left out of the changes until a full study can be completed on the impact that existing STRs and tourism has on their neighborhood. He also thinks there will be a limit on the allowable footprint expansion, so it’s not a major concern at this time.
The board plans to discuss the issue further via email and vote on how to proceed.
Meeting ended at 6:08PM
Submitted by Tyler Harwood, secretary