A Virginia Democrat wants to restrict single-family homes statewide by allowing duplexes and townhomes to be built on single-home lots.
Ibraheem Samirah’s proposed law, HB152, would require local communities to allow two-family buildings to be developed on any lot zoned for single-family homes:
SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:
Middle housing allowed on lots zoned for single-family use. Requires all localities to allow development or redevelopment of “middle housing” residential units upon each lot zoned for single-family residential use. Middle housing is defined as two-family residential units, including duplexes, townhouses, cottages, and any similar structure. Such structures shall not require a special use permit or be subjected to any other local requirements beyond those imposed upon other authorized residential uses. Localities may regulate the siting, design, and environmental standards of middle housing residential units, including setback requirements, provided that the regulations do not, individually or cumulatively, discourage the development of all two-family housing types permitted through unreasonable costs or delay.
“Single-family zoning is… the least efficient way to organize communities, leading to a much larger carbon footprint,” Samirah said. “…I will certainly get pushback for this. Some will call it ‘state overreach.’”
“Some will express anxiety about neighborhood change. Some may even say that the supply issue doesn’t exist. But the research is clear: zoning is a barrier to more housing and integrated communities.”
To suggest homeowners will “express anxiety,” might be a bit of an understatement, however, given the pushback by homeowners in Austin, Texas, once the city started rezoning single-family lots into multi-family, high density zoning, which in some instances encouraged the demolition of existing single-family homes.
That said, Austin was at least changing its own local zoning codes; in comparison, Samirah’s statewide bill would force the same zoning standards on cities across Virginia.
Naturally, replacing single-family homes with multi-family housing would increase population density and traffic for a given neighborhood.
“This could completely change the character of suburban residential life, because of the urbanization that would develop,” Tim Hannigan, chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “So much of the American dream is built upon this idea of finding a nice quiet place to raise your family, and that is under assault.”
“This is a power-grab to take away the ability of local communities to establish their own zoning practices … literally trying to change the character of our communities.”
Nancy Pelosi and her cohort’s planned coup is doing the very thing they had voted to impeach Donald Trump for.
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