From the Consultants: Moving into the Code Writing Phase

Thanks to a grant from the Department of Land Conservation and Development, we were able to hire a consultant team to partner with to implement House Bill 2001. Now that we're moving into the "Code Writing" phase, we have an update from them, directly to you! Our first "From the Consultants" is below:

"The City’s Consulting Team has been hard at work, coordinating closely with City staff, members of the Planning Commission, and participants in the City’s outreach processes to evaluate a variety of middle housing code issues and concepts and start to prepare potential changes to the City’s Development Code to implement middle housing legislation. We have completed the “Design and Code Concepts” phase of the project and are actively working on the “Code Writing” phase. We’re still evaluating and discussing different options, so the cake isn’t nearly baked yet. But we are getting closer to making and reviewing some preliminary recommendations.

As we start to draft possible code changes, we are building on the concepts of whether to simply Allow middle housing, or whether to Encourage or Incentivize it. We’re also considering the City’s triple bottom line of sustainability, as well as a variety of other community values, goals, objectives, and policies. In doing so, we are relying on the substantial feedback provided by the City’s recent online survey, as well as meetings with Healthy Democracy, Equity Roundtable, Boards and Commissions/Local Partners RoundTable, and the Planning Commission. That feedback leaned heavily towards the Encourage and/or Incentivize options, although the feedback and approaches may vary, depending on what we’re looking at (e.g., building lot sizes vs. building heights vs. parking).

We’re currently identifying recommendations related to specific things that the Code regulates, including standards related to the size of property on which a given type of housing can be built, how much onsite (or “off-street”) parking can be required, how far buildings must be “set back” from the edges of the property, and how much of a property can be covered by buildings or other impervious surfaces, among a variety of other issues.

We’ll be presenting some initial findings and suggestions to the City’s Planning Commission at meetings on April 13 and 26, and then refining those recommendations for more discussion in May. The refinements will benefit from the outcome of outreach meetings and developer focus group meetings also happening in April, as well as feedback from other community members. We’re slated to provide a full set of more detailed recommendations in June. Soon after that, the Consultant’s work will be done but City staff will lead community members through additional review, discussion and refinements of our recommendations during the following several months.

Thanks for taking the time to check out our update and to follow and participate in the Middle Housing Code Update process! We’ll continue to work closely with City staff and decision-makers to provide more updates as we move forward.

All the best,

Your Middle Housing Consulting Team

Angelo Planning Group (Matt Hastie and Kate Rogers)

ECONorthwest (Becky Hewitt and Tyler Bump)

SERA Architects (Ben Weber, Emma-Quin Smith and Ross Determan)"

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This project has concluded. Please visit for more information.

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