Tacoma Plan Would Eliminate Single-Family Zoning in Favor of 'Missing Middle' Housing

If implemented, Home in Tacoma would create new housing categories to encourage more multi-family buildings.

1 minute read

March 21, 2021, 9:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


lensfield / Shutterstock

Home in Tacoma proposes major reforms to the city's historically single-family zoning, calling for new housing categories that create more density and affordable "missing middle housing" options. Nick Bowman, writing for MyNorthwest, reports on the policy recommendations, which include "a pair of potential options would either have the city be 75% low-scale and 25% mid-scale, or 40% low-scale and 60% mid-scale."

The proposal "would eliminate the 'single family' and 'multi-family' land use designations altogether, replacing them with 'low-scale residential' and 'mid-scale residential.'" The commission stated that the two options presented both "include significant new housing options." Compiled by the Home in Tacoma Project at the direction of the Tacoma City Council, the proposal focuses on expanding multi-family housing options in a city where 90% of land is currently zoned for single-family homes.

The proposal also recommends the "expansion of regulatory affordable housing incentives and requirements" and "anti-displacement actions intended to help lower- income residents remain in growing neighborhoods."

The Planning Commission is accepting public comments and will hold a public hearing on April 7. According to the Home in Tacoma Project, "the City Council has directed staff and the Commission to provide zoning and development standards updates to implement the adopted policy direction by December of 2021."

Thursday, March 11, 2021 in MyNorthwest

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