Gainesville single-family housing zoning in jeopardy

Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 12:45 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - New affordable housing could come to Gainesville if the city commission votes to get rid of single-family zoning but some residents are opposing the measure.

Commissioners Cynthia Chestnut, Desmon Duncan-Walker, and Harvey Ward are against the measure that would allow multi-family units to be built in many parts of the city currently zoned for single-family. Chestnut says the other four commissioners are set to vote to approve the change.

Sixty-three percent of the city zoned for single-family houses would be open to duplexes and up to four-unit buildings. It’s an effort to reduce sprawl and reduce the cost of living.

One resident called out Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos, who claims this will not get rid of homes in historically black neighborhoods.

“It does not make any changes to historically black neighborhoods like Fifth Avenue and the majority of Duval,” Hayes-Santos said. “It leaves those neighborhoods unchanged because they’re not zoned single-family because of, things put in place in the past.”

Former Architecture Professor Kim Tanser refuted Hayes-Santos claims.

“Hayes-Santos said that two historically black neighborhoods, the Fifth Avenue Pleasant Street and Duval neighborhood, are no longer single-family zoning similarly, that is incorrect,” Tanser said. “Both the fifth avenue pleasant street neighborhood and the Duval neighborhood have two types of single-family zoning.”

The city commission will take up the issue next Wednesday. If approved the state land planning agency will review the land use changes.

Chestnut is hosting a town hall on the issue on Aug. 8 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Mount Pleasant UMC.

A petition is on to stop change.

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