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The density bonus ordinance language is part of new legislation allowing more affordable housing options throughout Atlanta. Ordinance 21-0-0456 was reviewed by the 25 Neighborhood Planning Units in October. A public hearing on the ordinance amendments will be held during the Zoning Review Board on November 4, 2021. Discussions on the proactive rezoning legislation are still ongoing at the NPU level.
According to Atlanta City Documents, Ordinance 21-0-0456, Section 1 will include policies intended to amend the type and number of housing units allowed in MR-MU zones. Additionally, Ordinance 21-0-0454 will rezone additional single-family parcels in R4, R4A, and R5 districts near MARTA stations to MR-MU, creating more opportunities to capitalize on density bonuses.
Currently, MR-MU zoned parcels are allowed to have up to twelve housing units per property with a minimum lot size of 2,000 square feet.
The proposed legislation would reduce the number of permitted units to a maximum of four unless affordable housing units are part of the development plan. Depending on the number of dedicated affordable units proposed, the development could receive a density bonus of an additional eight units. Specifically, another 5 to 8 units could be constructed if at least one unit is rented at 60% AMI or one for-sale unit sold at 80% AMI. Further, if two rental units are rented at 60% AMI or two units are owner-occupied and sold at 80% AMI, the development would receive a density bonus of an additional eight units.
According to the proposed legislation, if a new residential development in an MR-MU zoned property proposed a small apartment consisting of 12 units, two of the units must be offered as affordable rental or for-sale units.
Other Proposed Regulations Include:
- Increasing the minimum lot size to 5,000 square feet
- Changing the minimum street frontage to 40 feet
- Adding front setback requirement of 25 feet
- Adding a maximum lot overage of 75%
- Requiring front porches on all new dwellings
- If a density bonus is granted, the units must remain affordable for a minimum of 20 years
According to information provided by the City, the proposed legislation intends to increase housing variety by increasing the overall housing supply, especially near transit, and incentivizing affordable housing through density bonuses. In addition, the goal is to integrate affordable housing units without jeopardizing the neighborhood feel of residential neighborhoods.