A moratorium prohibiting building multiunit residences on the same lot with single-family or duplex housing has been approved by the City Council.
The council is undecided about what to do with residents who want to build apartments on their residential property which already has a single-family home or duplex. A proposal to completely ban such actions was tabled Jan. 8, and the council is using the moratorium as a stopgap measure to give members time to think the matter over.The moratorium will end Feb. 15.
City planner Blaine Gehring said combining single-family and multiunit housing diminishes open space and makes access for fire and police protection difficult.
The planning commission earlier approved banning multi- and single-unit housing combinations, over the dissenting vote of one member, but the City Council declined to follow the planning commission's lead. Various council members expressed hesitation in approving such a strict solution, and one resident, speaking at a public hearing Jan. 8 on the matter, strenuously objected to a ban as depriving people of potential extra income to help during retirement and or times of financial difficulty.
A few multi-/single-family housing combination lots have already made their way through the approval process and will not be affected by a possible ban, something Councilman Harold Shafter isn't happy about.
The council approved a proposed five-plex on the same property as an existing house at 309 W. 200 North on Dec. 11, over Shaf-ter's dissenting vote.
Gehring said he's now working on ordinances that would stop short of a complete ban.