Friday, September 18, 2020
Sept. 18, 2020

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Letter: Modify residential zoning


I appreciated the comments of Sierk Braam in the Friends of Clark County webinar about making changes to the local zoning codes. Currently Vancouver is considering updates to its zoning code. See:

Unfortunately, staff has not recommended changing the single-family zone. One of the best ways to increase housing affordability and density would be to modify current single-family zoning to allow occasional multifamily (from duplexes to up to eight or possibly more) units and to allow in-fill by splitting large lots into smaller ones.

Many neighborhoods are exclusive upper-class enclaves where few people can afford to live. Some older residents have high taxes on their home values but are not allowed to divide their lots to sell part, and thereby stay in their homes. Increasing density and diversity of neighborhoods is good for the environment and improves interchange among people of different income levels. If some of the large lots in The Heights were divided and density increased in a scattered fashion rather than all at the proposed Tower Mall development, there would be less need for six-story buildings. I encourage people, city staff and council to consider modification of the single-family residential zone.

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