Previously, churches and religious institutions required to provide a certain number of parking spaces based on church capacity. With the approved changes to the Land Development Code, qualifying churches can choose to build affordable housing units in their parking lots to better utilize large areas of the property that are typically unused during the week.
Advocates for the change included representatives of the so-called “Yes in God’s Backyard,” or YIGBY movement – a group of religious leaders who want to create more housing opportunities in their communities.
Under Faulconer, the City has worked to implement significant reforms to increase housing affordability, spur construction, lower costs and promote smart growth. Previous reforms include eliminating parking mandates in transit-priority areas and increasing housing capacity by updating community plans at a record pace.
“Churches in our community want to be a part of the solution when it comes to the housing crisis,” Pastor Dr. Gerald Brown said. “This important reform allows us to continue serving our communities in the best way possible while providing the affordable housing that is so desperately needed.”
Additionally, proposed changes to the municipal code would allow continuing care retirement communities to be permitted in zones that allow multifamily housing and as a conditional use in single-family residential zones.
Other changes include Housing Development Process Improvements: Removal of the requirement of an additional permit for multifamily residential development that involves arranging to accommodate underground parking.
“There are so many religious leaders who want to know what they can do as we face a statewide housing crisis that is putting the squeeze on working families,” Faulconer said. “We have people in need and people who want to help so giving churches the opportunity to build affordable housing on underutilized parking lots makes all the sense in the world.”