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AGENDA ITEM: 6.
Michael Spaeth, Community and Economic Development
PUBLIC HEARING: DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING A ZONING CODE TEXT AMENDMENT TO ALLOW ATTACHED DWELLINGS IN THE R-6 MULTI-FAMILY DISTRICT AND OTHER RELATED REVISIONS
Staff recommends approval.
The purpose of this item is to consider a proposed zoning code amendment (Attachment 1) related to the R-6 zoning district at the request of the applicant, TJ Bednar (Attachment 2). The amendment includes the following changes:
Allow attached dwellings (e.g. townhouses, condos) as a permitted use in the R-6 zoning district;
Establish development standards specifically for attached dwellings in the R-6 district
Clarify development standards for attached dwellings in all zoning districts
Currently, the R-6 district is the only multi-family zoning district that does not permit attached dwellings. It does however, permit apartments, the most dense residential development type, and detached single-family dwelling types, the least dense. Attached dwelling style development is within the spectrum of residential use types currently permitted in this district and should be an allowed use. As such, if approved the proposed amendment will make attached dwellings a permitted use in all multi-family districts.
The proposed amendment also establishes development standards for attached dwellings in the R-6 zoning district and clarifies other requirements for attached dwelling style development in all multi-family zoning districts.
BACKGROUND OR DETAILED INFORMATION:
The proposed amendment (Attachment 1) has three primary components related to attached dwellings detailed below.
1. Making attached dwellings a permitted use in the R-6 Zoning District
The Oro Valley zoning code has four multi-family residential zoning districts:
R-4 (Townhouse District)
R-4R (Resort District)
R-S (Residential Services District)
R-6 (Multi-family Residential District)
These districts permit a mix of densities and intensities ranging from medium-high (R-4) to high (R-6). Currently, attached dwellings (e.g. townhouses or condos) are permitted in each of these districts except R-6. However, apartments (more intense than attached dwellings) and single-family detached dwellings (less intense) are permitted in the R-6 district. If approved, the proposed amendment (Attachment 1) will make attached dwellings a permitted use in the R-6 district, consistent with all other multi-family zones.
Furthermore, most R-6 districts are located near commercial development along busy arterial streets to help support the economic viability of the nearby shopping centers. The transition between these more intense developments and less intense, detached single-family development is important. Attached dwelling style development is an effective density transition between more intense and less intense uses.
2. Establishing development standards for attached dwellings in the R-6 Zoning District
The only district with clear development standards for townhouses is the R-4 Townhouse district. The R-S Residential Service district refers townhouse developments in that district to the standards found in the R-4 district.
Staff reviewed multi-family residential districts in five (5) Arizona jurisdictions that are similar to the R-6 Multi-family residential district (Attachment 3). Specifically, development standards related to perimeter setbacks, distance between buildings, building heights and density. The findings show that some locations provide similar setbacks as in the R-4 district and some determine setbacks by the use (different setbacks for single-family detached, single-family attached, and multi-family dwellings). The distance between buildings varied. Most jurisdictions specify a minimum distance between buildings of ten (10) feet in districts that allow townhouses. There was no consistency between the jurisdictions regarding minimum lot size or density.
The proposed amendment requires attached dwelling style development in the R-6 zoning district to use the development standards of the R-4 district, similar to the R-S district, with 2 exceptions: density and building height. While some development standards (e.g. open space, setbacks) are generally consistent across attached dwelling style developments regardless of location, others like density and building height should be more specific to the underlying zoning district. As such, the amendment maintains the existing density (minimum 3,500 sf per unit) and building height development standards of the R-6 zoning district (limitations when located adjacent to other residential zoning districts).
3. Clarifying other development standards for all attached dwelling style developments
The code currently defines townhouses as
“single-family dwellings with party walls and no side yards between abutting buildings”
. This definition conflicts with another section of code that classifies townhouse zoning districts as multi-family. As such, clarification is needed.
Attached dwelling style development functions more like multi-family dwellings and are only allowed in multi-family residential districts. The proposed amendment removes the words “single-family” from the definition of townhouse to clarify it as a multi-family dwelling. As such, the architectural standards for single-family dwellings will no longer apply for attached dwellings, but rather the multi-family dwelling standards.
Lastly, the amendment also adds to the R-4 district a minimum setback of ten (10) feet between all detached units. This will apply as a minimum distance between buildings for attached dwellings.
General Plan Conformance
Your Voice, Our Future
General Plan goals, policies, and actions are met by the proposed amendment:
Goal X: Effective transitions between differing land uses and intensities in the community.
Policy Land Use 5: Provide diverse land uses that meet the Town’s overall needs and effectively transition in scale and density adjacent to neighborhoods.
Action item #125: Maintain the unique character of Oro Valley by studying and updating:
Land use regulations that define and incorporate effective compatibility standards.
This new code amendment meets this goal by:
Allowing attached dwellings in all multi-family zoning districts to provide an effective transition between medium and high density development.
Providing clarity regarding the development standards for attached dwelling style development that does not increase density, building height or setbacks.
I MOVE to recommend (approval/denial) of the Zoning Code Amendment to permit attached dwellings in the R-6 zoning district and other related updates as shown in Attachment 1.
ATTACHMENT 1 - DRAFT CODE AMENDMENT
ATTACHMENT 2 - APPLICANT SUBMITTAL
ATTACHMENT 3 - JURISDICTION COMPARISON
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