Gainesville commissioners pass plan to end exclusive single-family zoning
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A controversial plan to end exclusionary zoning throughout the City of Gainesville was approved by city commissioners moments before midnight on Thursday.
All three of the items on the agenda related to the effort to change much of the city’s single-family zoning to allow for multi-family units passed in 4-3 votes. Commissioners Harvey Ward, Cynthia Chestnut, and Desmond Duncan-Walker voted against the measures.
The goal of the plan is to increase the supply of affordable housing and create walkable neighborhoods. It allows four-unit buildings and duplexes to be built in most neighborhoods, however, many residents voiced their opposition at the meeting and protested outside city hall.
Some residents say ending single-family zoning will ruin their neighborhoods.
“Your property values will go down even though our taxes are going up,” said Gainesville resident Ruby Grey. “It will cause a heavy burden on the infrastructure and the sewage all of that stuff it would create parking problems up and down the street and I believe it brings some pretty massive crime into single-family neighborhoods.”
Some of the people who spoke during public comment supported the plan arguing it will increase the supply of affordable housing.
On Tuesday, Alachua County Commissioners unanimously voted unanimously to oppose the plan to end single-family zoning. Then on Wednesday, a rally of residents in the Porter’s Quarters neighborhood protested the plan as well.
People with the group “Gainesville Neighborhood Voices” protested the zoning plan on Tuesday. They oppose the plan to change more than half of the city’s neighborhoods. One of the concerns was over the environmental impact of building more densely packed homes.
“That is not what makes this town attractive or livable,” said Karon Kadle. “It also means tearing down more trees. Another stupid idea.”
The group One Thousand Friends of Florida announced their opposition to the proposal as well.
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