Gainesville Set To Approve Contentious Zoning Reforms

The city commission voted in favor of a controversial zoning reform package that critics from multiple sides say won’t create more affordable housing for those who need it most.

1 minute read

August 9, 2022, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

As Katie Hyson reports for WUFT, the city commission of Gainesville, Florida approved proposed zoning changes that, if passed by a second vote, would replace ‘single-family zoning’ with ‘neighborhood residential’ zoning and allow for greater housing density in an effort to boost the city’s housing supply.

Hyson notes that “The city commission’s Thursday night vote goes against the recommendation of the affordable housing advisory committee – whose members said they were not consulted by the city about the proposal – the opinion of the county commission and substantial public opposition.”

Supporters say the change will help create more desperately needed housing in a city projected to grow by 60,000 people in the next decade, according to Mayor Lauren Poe. But the proposal has faced criticism from some residents for threatening to “create parking issues, strain infrastructure and result in the loss of trees,” and decrease property values and neighborhood stability. Others argue that the changes would “speed up gentrification and displace Black and low-income residents” by encouraging developers to buy the lowest-cost properties first—those traditionally owned and occupied by Black and brown residents. All sides tend to agree that the zoning changes won’t create affordable units for the lowest-income residents. 

Friday, August 5, 2022 in WUFT

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