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City of Winooski News Updates

Posted on: November 5, 2019

November 2019 Housing Liaison Update

Housing

By Councilor Jim Duncan

The Housing Commission met on October 28th for an initial discussion of parking minimums and how they relate to housing availability and affordability in the City. This issue has arisen as the City Council has asked staff and the Planning Commission to look into why affordability and energy efficiency incentives have not been utilized in the Gateway Districts. Anecdotally, one possible reason is that the extra parking requirements of additional units are a disincentive. The Housing Commission will be providing input to the Planning Commission on parking as it relates to housing as the Planning Commission considers changes to zoning and form-based codes related to this and other issues. The Housing Commission members received background information about the costs of parking often bundled into rental costs, and had an initial discussion around some options for zoning changes:

  • Change R-B and R-C requirements to align with city-wide parking requirements
  • Reduce parking minimums to 0.75 spaces per unit
  • Eliminate parking minimums for residential development
  • Eliminate parking minimums for residential development containing 15% affordable units or more (targets)
  • Parking reduction for affordable units
  • Eliminate parking minimums in frequent transit areas
  • Require landlords in Winooski to decouple rental costs from parking costs and offer “opt-in” paid parking spaces for lease.

More detail on these is available in the detailed memo prepared for the Housing Commission by Community and Economic Development Officer Heather Carrington. The Commission will be evaluating some more data and information from comparable municipalities at its next meeting on November 25th.

In addition to this discussion of parking minimums, the Commission welcomed Katherine “Deac” Decarreau, Executive Director of the Winooski Housing Authority, to the Commission. Deac replaces Bobby Arnell, a board member of the WHA.

The Housing Commission meets the 4th Monday each month and meetings are open to the public. Please get in touch if you have any input or questions on the work of the Commission – Jim Duncan, jduncan@winooskivt.gov.

Click here to learn more about the Housing Commission and how to get involved.

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