Thursday, January 17, 2013

City OKs smaller residential lot sizes

The Moab City Council has given final approval to an ordinance allowing home construction on smaller lots.

Approved by a 4-1 vote Tuesday night, the ordinance allows minimum lot sizes of 5,000 square feet rather than the previous 7,200 square feet. It also reduces the maximum height of new homes from 40 feet to 30 feet.

Council members characterized it as a way to provide affordable housing within city limits. However, the issue became somewhat controversial over the past year, with some city residents saying during public hearings that the ordinance would negatively impact neighborhoods and possibly block solar access.

Council member Kyle Bailey explained during an interview that he is worried about the effects the ordinance will have on existing subdivisions. People who purchased homes in a neighborhood did so expecting a certain look, Bailey said. But homeowners are free to expand their houses under the revised ordinance, altering the appearance in a way other residents might not like, he said.

The ordinance goes into effect immediately for new residential construction, Peterson said.
Moab Times-Independent