Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Planning Commission ‘Spinning Wheels’ on Affordable Housing
Spotsylvania Planning Commission Chairman James Strother said during last week’s meeting that commissioners were "spinning their wheels" on trying to figure out how to supply affordable housing for the county. Commissioners have reviewed affordable housing ideas several times and never could they come to agreement. Last week was no different.
"This is a first step to provide those increased options and opportunities. By no means do we expect this to be the cure all that solves everything," said county planner Andrew Hopewell during the Feb. 20 meeting.
Strother wanted to form a committee to study affordable housing. No one agreed on that.
Patrick Mulhern, a longrange planner, said the three important pieces of affordable housing he suggested commissioners pass to supervisors were:
1. Recommend the objective in the draft comprehensive plan for the "10-percent component" for every signifitant new residential rezoning. This component would require developers to set aside 10 percent of the homes for affordable units. What’s affordable? I will get to that in another post.
2. Make changes to allow granny flats above garages or in basements for affordable apartments that are legal.
3. Recommend the "great house concept" which basically is building a large estate on, let’s say an acre, but the house is actually broken up into several affordable units. The house looks like a large estate, but it’s really an affordable housing unit.
Supervisor Benjamin Pitts at the last county board meeting wanted staff to recommend ordinance changes that would set the stage for affordable housing. That meeting is scheudled for June 24.
Here is a video I did with Commissioner John Gustafson after the Feb. 20 meeting. It took me all day to figure out how to post this video up here, but I feel accomplished that it finally worked! Forgive the intro, as I am still learning how to use this program.