ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units), Affordability, Aging/Senior Population, Attainability, Codes, Deed Restrictions, Design Standards, Development, Diversity, Environment, HOA, Home Improvement, Housing, Housing Security, Legislative, Ordinances, Rebuilds, Redlining, Teardowns, Utilities, Zoning

Council Work Session on Housing – 04/24/2023

Posted by Bonnie Limbird

Random notes and casual councilperson comments… I even used first names! 🙂 (These are not direct quotes and should not be read or used as such. For direct quotes watch the recorded video on Facebook):

Topic: Housing Study

I’m not personally opposed to a PV specific housing study, but I don’t want to waste time waiting on that over doing some things that we can do now… No one else on Council spoke up on this topic, so it clearly wasn’t one of their priorities either.

Topic: Accessory Dwelling Units

Ian: the code requires some clarification, definition, and clean-up.

Cole: how many plats qualify for ADUs? Will HOAs even allow it? Define the purpose – especially if it’s meant to help with rising housing costs.

Courtney: is our infrastructure up to the task? green space loss? parking? Doesn’t feel the need to prioritize, but if we do, we need to address these issues and have conversations with JoCo Wastewater.

Inga: ADU’s vs. D(etached)ADU’s: the former doesn’t really require additional infrastructure, etc. Should clean up the code at the least. Her residents don’t have much of a taste for the detached option. Wants to make it very clear to all that we’re going to separate the attached and detached options of ADUs.

Mayor: can ADUs be designated in just specific areas of R1 – not ALL of R1? Chris Brewster says we could do that and would just need to put it into our comprehensive plan.

Dave: we should clean the code up and get it defined. Without aligning himself with any particular group, he does not have any appetite for going down the independent (detached) structure road.

Piper: Greenspace preservation is important. We have to think about the equity of the discussion too and where it lands.

Terrence: will want deeper dive legally into these topics as they come up on the agenda – if they make it into the discussion. Let’s not let staff spin their wheels on whatever – let’s look at restrictions, utilities, etc. before we spend a lot more staff time.

I think there is definitely a place for these in PV. The Accessory Living Quarters (ALQs) should be updated to ADUs (the term includes attached OR detached) with Short Term Rental (STR) regulations that are smart. HOAs don’t play into my thoughts on the matter at all. If they’re more restrictive than the City on their regulations, then they take precedence, but they shouldn’t preclude non-HOA properties from the opportunity. But to Cole’s point below: how many homes, by plat size and HOA regs, would even allow ADUs?

Topic: Neighborhood Design Guideline

Mayor: the NDG’s were established to address the teardown/rebuild issue. We always knew that they wouldn’t be perfect and would need to be addressed at varying intervals.

Cole: talked with the builders who LIVE in PV and they think we didn’t go far enough on the restrictions – they think the houses are still too big too. Anecdotal.

Ron: Historically, the PVHOA was in battle with homebuilders who didn’t want to comply with their HOA restrictions. They put together their own guidelines to try to protect PV to make sure new houses kept the same form and scale as existing houses but in a modern way. Had so much dissension and lack of volunteer knowledge, they ultimately decided that no volunteer committee could do this and that’s how they ultimately came to the city and begged for help. Wards north of 75th are being destroyed by homes sized for south JoCo. Doesn’t think the current NDGs go far enough.

Inga: by far teardowns/rebuilds are the biggest fear of her residents, and these teardowns/rebuilds are allowed to happen “by-right”.

Lauren: wants to protect the starter home in PV. It’s too hard to move incrementally up or down as a homeowner within PV or to get into PV to start with. This is where we could get a lot of benefit for the time and dollars that would need to be spent to review and update these.

I want a review of these to address unintended consequences to maybe dial back some, and also to make some improvements for 2023.

Topic: Building Permit Fees/Incentives

Greg: looking at the market activity, a lot of it is in the luxury range and we’re losing the attainable homes for those new builds which inevitably effect our housing appraisals. The current NDGs don’t address the economic issues, and he looked at the fee structure and it isn’t aligned with our NDG goals.

Inga: possibly limit the number of new single family permits per year and/or per builder.

Piper: doesn’t believe any of us have any particular biases against any types of housing in PV, but we need to be mindful of scale so as not to damage the fabric of our neighborhoods.

Mayor: home values are outpacing salaries due to extreme appreciation, and we are becoming less and less like the PV we have always been.

Dave: increased permit fees will be rolled into the cost of the house, so keep that in mind.

Chad: fees may be one part of this but won’t be the whole solution.

Topic: Lot Size

Ian: open to the discussion about reducing lot sizes, but we’ve brought up discussion of loads on our infrastructure, and we also can’t just unilaterally decide that such and such type of zone can be such and such dimension. We would need to take that to a housing study to inform the discussion. Would need a data-backed analysis.

Chad: asked for a budget cost of a housing study, but Nickie Lee was hesitant to throw a number at it on the fly.

Topic: Short Term Rentals

Chad: it’s time to have this conversation. particularly about very short term rentals – like VRBOs.

Cole: we should be collecting taxes on this if they’re here… there are about several dozen in PV, and there is a gap in taxing that is incentivizing these STRs. We should also be asking AirBnB and VRBO for the taxing info on these properties in PV to 1) confirm they’re licensed properly, but also 2) not incentivizing the tearing away of our neighborhoods.

Ian: against STRs – almost all of the stories are bad: trash, noise, etc. Unless the owner is there too and has to put up with the problems, then not for it. It’s not going to get better on its own.

Terrence: not a fan either, and we should be taxing them proportionately if we have to allow them. We should also charge a higher rental application fee, so it doesn’t make it quite as rewarding for the owners.

Ron: should also look at regular rentals, but we are limited by the Kansas legislature. They have limited the ability of cities to do internal inspections which is a critical need to ensure the owners keep up the units for long term renters.

Inga: hasn’t met a single neighbor that is in support of having STRs near them. Would like to outright ban it.

Dave: Long term rentals have a positive impact in neighborhoods. About 25% (including apartments in the number) are rentals in PV.

Ian: renters are a tax payers, but by the numbers, renters do not have near as many students in the school system or use the amenities as much as homeowners that their tax dollars go to.

Chad: concurred with Ian’s comments about renters, and said that no evidence bears out that renters don’t pay taxes and do not have as much of an investment in PV. Shared one example of a positive outcome of an AirBnB from his experience, but noted that his experience isn’t necessarily the typical use of STRs.

Other Topic: Out of Town Investment Landlords

Inga: these are taking up our affordable housing stock away from first time home buyers or long term renters.

Ian: a lot of properties are owned by LLCs that may not be part of one large owner group on paper, but still may be… Does the state or federal government need to look into this? Also, if we don’t allow an ADU for a single homeowner living on property to rent out their own home, but we do allow these investors to do it, how level is that playing field (this goes to Piper’s comment about equity above)? The more we can encourage homeowners to age in place, invest in their property, and maybe make it an income stream, the better our neighborhoods look, and we don’t want to incentivize only the cash-rich investors.

Other Topic: Feather in more dense housing around our shopping centers.

Piper: Multi-family housing has not been discussed at all yet in R1 and maybe it won’t be taken to the next step, but it’s worth bringing it up to talk about tonight.

Ian: the comprehensive plan really guides this, and you don’t want to do it broadly but in a targeted way possibly lot-by-lot which requires input, follows the golden standard, and has to follow the comprehensive plan.

Other Topic: unoccupied homes

Dave: some properties (at least one by Dave) are vacant for years, which is a safety concern.

Ron: The KS Legislatures prohibits the cities in Kansas from dealing with vacant properties.

Prioritization Exercise

Councilmembers voted on their priorities of the topics above, and reviewing the Neighborhood Design Guidelines were far and away the top vote-getter with Short Term Rentals and Accessory Dwelling Units taking the 2nd and 3rd spots respectively.

Mayor: Will have to spread out these discussions over time.

Wes: taking on the NDGs will be very tasking, and staff have a lot on their plate right now, including the International Building Codes 2024 (which don’t come out until the 4th quarter), but they could start working on R1b as those are the ones they get the most complaints on.

Cole: we can look to neighboring municipalities for some intelligence.

Greg: Looks like we have a window between now and November-ish when the IBC comes out in print to look at NDG. And we can also look to our neighbors for STRs. KC has upcoming major events that will drive up demand and we need to have the appropriate regulations in place.

Courtney: moved to begin work on NDG for R1b and STRs for staff focus until November with opportunities to reconvene with staff to discuss. Unanimously approved.

Wes: would take feedback on idea of size for homes for them to look at and who we include in this process this time around. Staff will come back with updates at an upcoming CCOW and get feedback then too.

That’s it for now. Watch for more info soon with updates from staff on their research and work.

Have a great week!

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