Jan 11, 2007

Density Decrease Should Be Troutdale Goal

Based on current zoning, Troutdale's future housing mix opportunity for residential zones is 52.9 percent attached and multi-family dwellings, and 47.1 percent detached single family dwellings. Oregon land use statutes only require a 50 percent opportunity for construction of attached and multi family dwellings in Troutdale.

Troutdale has already blown right through Metro's required dwelling unit capacity by 248 units for the period ending in 2017. Unless Troutdale changes its current zoning, we're on track to be burdened with 1,538 existing and potential units in excess of Metro's Title 1 required allocation for 2017. That's unfair for current and future Troutdale residents. It's unfair to an already overcrowded Reynolds School District. It's unfair to the City of Troutdale's tight budget for police, fire, parks, streets, and other amenities.

That's why decreasing Troutdale's density while still meeting state mandated requirements should be a high priority goal for the Troutdale City Council in 2007. During an October, 2006 work session, the City Council agreed that our problem wasn't the specific location of high density zoning such as the condominiums proposed next to the Sedona Park neighborhood. The consensus was that our problem was density in general.

So how do we solve this problem of density in general? Do we amend portions of the Troutdale Development Code? Or do we amend the zoning map and comprehensive plan to decrease the amount of higher density zoned land? How can we solve our density problem and still meet state mandated density requirements?

During Tuesday's Troutdale City Council meeting, I asked city staff to look into methods to implement a moratorium on the issuance of building permits for construction of attached and multi family dwellings in Troutdale. Other steps the city should consider are negotiating with property owners for voluntary rezone of existing A2 attached and multiple family zoning to single family attached zoning. Although it may seem farfetched, the city should also explore a bond levy to raise funds dedicated to the purchase of development rights for property owners unwilling to voluntarily rezone their property.

Enough is enough. Troutdale has already exceeded its share of required housing. For livability's sake, let's stop this madness now.

No comments: