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R2A updates

Planning Comission has a public hearing on some changes to the R2A zone tonight: Oops, note that's just the notice for a public hearing, the actual hearing is March 1.

Minimum Lot Size in R2A District: Amendment to Section 5.17.3 (Residential Zoning Districts), Table 5-17-2 (Two-Family Residential Zoning District Dimensions) to change the minimum lot size from 8,500 square feet to 5,000 square feet, to change the minimum lot width from 60 feet to 40 feet, and to change the minimum lot area per dwelling unit from 4,250 square feet to 2,500 square feet.

Cities are the most efficient places to live, but they've been getting steadily more expensive to live in, and Ann Arbor is no exception. So, I'm completely in favor of anything that makes it easier to build more housing on a lot.

Also see a map of the R2A zoned parcels, and charts with more details.

My naive questions:

  • Why aren't the new numbers lower? (Why not zero, for that matter? As long as it's safe and up to building code, are these minimums anything anything other than "you must be this rich to live here" rules?)
  • Will we update R2B and R4C as well?
  • How much potential added housing supply do these changes add on their own? (Are there lots that could fit more units under new minimums and, if so, how many?)

(Response from Brett Lennart: "The minimums are proposed to be lowered to be more consistent with the R1D zoning district. We don't anticipate
immediate review of the R2B or R4C lot sizes, but these could be evaluated in the future.")