Dallas-Area City Wants to Increase Minimum Home Size to 2,000 Square Feet

While some cities are finding ways to add density and use zoning as a tool for affordability, Mesquite, Texas is headed the other direction.

June 29, 2022, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A map showing the city of mesquite with surrounding freeways, roads, and cities.

SevenMaps / Sutterstock

“Once heralded as the pinnacle of affordability in the D-FW homebuyer market, Mesquite is considering a zoning and development code overhaul that would hike the minimum permitted home size by more than 30%. Housing policy experts say the change could further price people out of the city and impact Black and Hispanic residents the most,” report Francesca D’Annunzio and Leah Waters in a paywalled article for the Dallas Morning News.

City planning staff laid out a number of proposed zoning changes in an April meeting of the City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission, according to the article, commencing a process expected to culminate with an updated single family zoning ordinance this fall.

“One of city staff’s suggestions included upping the minimum square footage for single family homes,” report D’Annunzio and Waters. “If the City Council passes the proposed standards, new houses will have to be at least 2,000 square feet, instead of the 1,500 square feet currently required.”

Jeff Armstrong, Mesquite’s planning and development director, is quoted in the article describing the proposed changes as intended to increase tax revenues due to higher property values.

Soundbites debating the consequences, intended or not, of increasing zoning code requirements for square footage are included in the source article.

Monday, June 27, 2022 in The Dallas Morning News

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