By Nancy Tannler

In the June issue of The Southeast Examiner, we looked at regulatory changes proposed in the Expanding Opportunities for Affordable Housing project, spearheaded by Nan Stark with the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS).

On June 17, City Council voted to adopt these changes to the zoning code that will streamline the review process for community and faith-based organizations that plan to develop affordable housing on their land.

In addition to zoning code changes, zoning map changes were made on 19 faith or community-owned sites, to provide greater flexibility and options for future development. All of the changes went into effect June 18.

The zoning code changes adopted by City Council allow organizations in residential zones to:

• Develop affordable housing on their land without a conditional use (CU) review if at least 50 percent of the units are affordable.

• Repurpose up to 50 percent of their parking area for an affordable housing project.

• Add up to 2,000 sq. ft. of nonresidential use without the conditional use review.

In September, City Council will reconvene with recommendations on four sites that were requested for zone changes through this project, which Council did not want to approve without notification to neighbors.

The second is a longer-term planning project “that identifies, with community members, properties where a zoning change could create community benefits, focusing on anti-displacement strategies, equitable wealth generation, addressing past harms and furthering fair housing.”