GNV plan board pauses on inclusionary zoning 

Gainesville City Hall sign with flowers
Seth Johnson

The Gainesville City Plan Board decided on Thursday to delay a decision on adding inclusionary zoning to the city code, giving staff time to return with more information.  

Recommendations for inclusionary zoning came from the same 2021 HR&A report that started the city down the exclusionary zoning path that the new City Commission just repealed.  

Juan Castillo, a city planner, told the plan board that inclusionary zoning is a land use tool that requires new development to have affordable housing. 

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In the proposal presented, any development with 10 or more units would be required to set aside 10% for affordable housing available to residents making 80% of the area median income. The city will give developers added density, up to 30%, for the required affordable housing inclusion.  

Developers can also opt to increase the number of affordable housing units to receive more density and benefits like 50% off the development application fee and 10% off the tree mitigation fee. State statute requires cities to reimburse developers for inclusionary zoning—either through direct payment or added densities and fee reductions.  

Developers could also pay a fee instead of adding the affordable housing units under the current proposal.  

Plan board members asked city staff to return with more information on the base number of units, how the fee in lieu of affordable housing would work and the administration process.  

Board member Stephanie Sutton said she would prefer to lift the base number of units, meaning only developments with 30 units or 50 units would fall under the affordable housing requirement.  

A handful of developments have already voluntarily included affordable housing clauses to get higher densities.  

After repealing the previous zoning and housing codes, the City Commission has signaled its interest in pursuing other housing options, with inclusionary zoning likely falling into the conversation.  

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Jeff Gehmann

Great, so once someone can finally afford a nice home, the city will force fit some type of subsidized units right next to you. Oh boy, that will make the wealthy want to live there and drive property values through the roof! LOL…I see expansion out of the C o G!