Missing Middle Housing

Welcome back to the City of Groveland’s Wednesday Workshop where we explore the characteristics of a city with natural charm. Today’s post focuses on housing, perhaps the most critical component to a community and part of the American Dream. A home can mean many different things depending on who you ask and what stage of life they are in. A single person just graduating from school might want a small apartment footsteps away from shops, restaurants, and entertainment. A family might prefer a detached house on a quiet street with a little more privacy and yard space. Or a retired couple might prefer to downsize into a townhome without a yard to maintain.

There is not a “one size fits all” approach to housing, but unfortunately in most communities today, options are limited to single family home subdivisions or large scale apartment complexes.

This lack of diversity has left a gap in the housing market referred to as Missing Middle Housing. Missing Middle Housing is a spectrum of different housing types that can be nestled into communities designed with traditional neighborhood principles. Commonly built prior to World War II, Missing Middle Housing types can include single family detached houses with accessory dwelling units (ADUs), duplexes, triplexes, four-plexes, garden apartments, townhomes, and live/work townhomes.

In effort to ensure residents have a variety of housing options to choose from, Groveland’s new Form Based Code will allow for a greater flexibility of housing types, all typically at the scale of a “house”. For example, let’s look at historic Downtown Groveland.

Originally platted with 60 ft wide lots with alleys and small blocks, it’s a perfect location for our new Missing Middle Housing types. In Downtown’s Edge zone, the minimum lot size will stay at 60 ft wide with 10 ft side setbacks.The code will continue to permit single family detached homes, but will also allow for duplexes, triplexes or four-plexes as long as they are built to the size and scale of a single family detached house. We’ll also give residents the option to have  an ADU (i.e. garage apartment, granny flat) in the back. ADUs are great because they can allow a relative to live near the family, while maintaining some privacy and independence. We will also encourage utilization of the platted alleys to keep parking concealed and increase walkability. In Downtown’s Center zone, the options increase further. Here we’ll allow lots to be split into smaller lots that can house bungalows, townhomes, or garden apartments.

If Downtown living isn’t for you, that’s also OK. Groveland is also setting aside plenty of land for larger five acre lots ideal for country living and farming. Groveland will offer plenty of housing types throughout the transect.

Check out the image gallery for more examples of Missing Middle Housing Types. Be on the lookout for a new post next Wednesday and follow us on Facebook for more.

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