Judge sets dates for legal challenges to Gainesville’s ban on single-family zoning

In October, the city commission voted to amend the city charter to remove single-family zoning allowing multi-family units
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 4:43 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The battle over the Gainesville City Commission’s decision to end single-family zoning went before an administrative law judge on Tuesday.

The judge spoke to the parties involved in both complaints, including residents of the city, Alachua County, and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The judge set dates to hear the case in February.

In October, the city commission voted to amend the city’s comprehensive plan to remove single-family zoning allowing multi-family units, such as duplexes and triplexes, to be built in neighborhoods across the city.

RELATED: Attorney says Gainesville City Commission could face legal challenges over possible zoning changes

The DEO and two private citizens are pushing back against the change. They argue the new “inclusive zoning” will change the character of their neighborhoods and impact property values. City leaders say the zoning change creates more opportunities for affordable housing to be built in the city.

The change was approved in a 4 to 3 vote with Commissioners Harvey Ward, Desmond Duncan Walker, and Cynthia Chestnut in dissent. Three of the commissioners who voted for the measure are leaving office. On the campaign trail, incoming Mayor Ward promised to repeal the multi-family zoning change.

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