By Kathy Les and Erik Fay
SCNA will host a housing forum from 6:30 to 8 p.m. May 27 in response to a city proposal to modify R-1 singlefamily zoning standards to allow up to four dwelling units on properties previously zoned for single-family homes. Speakers will shed light on the city proposal.
By a state mandate, Sacramento must build 45,000 new housing units – including 16,700 affordable housing units – over the next eight years. The mandate also seeks to rectify past practices that fostered segregation and to provide equitable access to affordable housing in neighborhoods like Curtis Park.
One of the policies in the city’s Draft 2021-2029 Housing Element calls for “meaningful actions to allow for a greater array of housing types throughout the city to create more inclusive and equitable neighborhoods and to affirmatively further fair housing.”
The city proposes that beginning in summer 2022, properties currently zoned R-1 (single-family) and R-2 (duplex) will be permitted to accommodate neighborhoodscale “missing middle” housing types, including duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes, as long as the site can meet development standards such as height, setbacks and lot coverage requirements.
The housing forum will explore city plans to meet the housing mandate and to offer more housing types inside established neighborhoods like Curtis Park. In addition, the forum will look at concerns and proposed alternatives by other neighborhood associations, as well as potential concerns for older neighborhoods.
Speakers will offer a variety of perspectives from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, the city, Preservation Sacramento, Colonial Heights Neighborhood Association and Land Park Community Association.
Attendees will have a halfhour following the speaker presentations to ask questions.
SCNA’s Ad Hoc Racial Justice and Neighborhood Concerns Committees planned the forum for Curtis Park residents seeking more information on this issue. Homeowners are already permitted up to two accessory dwelling units on single-family lots, thereby resulting in the possibility of as many as six units on R-1 zoned properties, including those with existing homes.
This forum follows up on two webinars hosted by SCNA last fall that showcased and discussed racial covenant exclusions widespread in Curtis Park starting in the 1920s. City officials aim to address these historic housing inequities in Curtis Park and throughout Sacramento in part with the R-1 zone change.
SCNA took a position of conditional support in two letters to the City Council regarding the R-1 zone proposal. Both letters recognized the need for more equitable and inclusive neighborhoods, requesting:
- A neighborhood-by-neighborhood survey of parcels suitable to up-zoning with residents playing a strong role in determining locations for affordable housing.
- City policies that require affordable – and not just market-rate – housing.
- Design requirements to ensure that multiplexes are compatible in height and mass with surrounding neighborhood buildings.
- Equitable allocation of permits for building additional multiplexes among neighborhoods to be impacted.