We are currently working on providing increasing opportunities for residential development in the town.
One objective of this work is to provide a broader range of housing options to better serve all aspects of our community. This includes everyone from those seeking affordable housing options, to students, young professionals, those living independently, and empty-nesters looking to downsize. It may also grow options for buyers as well as renters.
The other major objective of this work is to create a more walkable community which better supports our major commercial areas. By increasing the number of residents able to live close to downtown we can simultaneously enable healthier lifestyles and strengthen our local economy.
These housing initiatives will focus on serving the demand for smaller housing sizes. Recent decades have seen smaller family sizes due to shifting preferences, single parent families, couples without children, people choosing to live independently, and active retired seniors. Based on the 2011 census 46% of the population is comprised of individuals living alone, or of census families of 2 people. 11% of the population are living with nonfamily individuals. In addition to the permanent population, the number of residents approximately doubles during the University school year. The result of these demographics is a demand for smaller sized housing units.
Between 2010 and 2016 there have been, on average, 4 houses built each year, as well as a total of 3 multiunit buildings in that time frame. There are few readily available lots remaining throughout Town. The majority of undeveloped land is either owned by the university or subject to flooding. It is necessary, therefore, to develop policies which will allow more creative, yet sensitive development. These include permitting smaller lot development, identifying appropriate areas for higher density, as well as floodway fringe and infill lot development.
Specific initiatives that have been pursued to date include:
- · Flat lot development of R2, R3 and Commercial Zones
- · Establishment of a Residential Fringe Zoning Overlay
For more information on these initiatives, or to share your thoughts on increasing and improving residential opportunities please contact the Department of Planning and Building Services at 902-318-1581.