July 31, 2017 Read More →

Planning and Zoning Stealth Dorm Subcommittee Reports Findings, Makes Plans for Additional Citizen Input

 

This past January, the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) formed a citizen subcommittee in response to concerns about the increase in requests to re-subdivide lots and the use of by-the-room occupancy rental properties, often leased by unrelated tenants, in established neighborhoods. After holding two public input meetings and reviewing each of the 288 citizen surveys submitted, the subcommittee reported their findings and proposed plan for additional citizen input at the regularly scheduled Planning and Zoning Commission workshop meeting on Thursday, July 20, 2017.

The top citizen perceived issues regarding by-the-room occupancy rental properties include:

  1. Parking
  2. Poorly Kept Lawns
  3. Noise
  4. Traffic/Road Congestion
  5. Poor Home Maintenance
  6. Trash/Litter
  7. Safety
  8. Neighborhood Integrity
  9. Stealth Dorms Removing Housing Options for Non-Students
  10. Poor Building Standards for Stealth Dorms

With the input received to date, the subcommittee has determined there is no one solution to preserve the integrity of neighborhoods where Stealth Dorms have recently been constructed. To address citizens’ concerns the subcommittee recommended a two-phase approach to help regulate the development of these types of properties. Some of the subcommittee’s proposed principles include:

  • Reducing the percentage of required signatures from property owners within a subdivision from 66% to 58% to rezone the subdivision to a Residential Neighborhood Conservation District.
  • Defining Stealth Dorms as Detached Shared Housing (DSH) and potentially allowing these properties in residential districts with prior approval of a Conditional Use Permit.
  • Considering the adoption of a Home Improvement Incentive Program.
  • Creating a Neighborhood Overlay District with increased development standards for the redevelopment of Detached Shared Housing.

The Subcommittee desires to collect additional public input from citizens and well as additional research prior to implementation of the two-phase approach. Citizens will have additional opportunities to share their input and provide feedback during upcoming public meetings.

For additional information, please contact the Planning department at 979-209-5030 or planning@bryantx.gov.

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