10/19/23 - Townhouse Redux

I wanted to write you, dear reader, a piece about townhouses. About how ones narrower than 20' should be allowed. About how they should be allowed significantly more than 50% lot coverage in all zones. About how they should be allowed to be covered in vinyl or EIFS or fancy plywood like other single family homes. About how they have rules about front loaded garages in their design standards, but are prohibited from having front loaded garages in their parking regulations. About how allowing 0' side setbacks for townhouses in the Public Market Village (PMV) hurts my brain to think about when townhouses are limited to an unbroken line of 300' (so what are 2 300' lines of townhouses with no side setback between them?). And about how, on page 335 of a 344 page document there is a 2 line description of how to measure the frontage of townhouses that would seem to preclude building townhouses almost anywhere in the city at all.

But I'm not going to write about any of that. 

I went for a walk today, and I took the photo at the top of this piece. It would mean the world to me if you can, as I did, spend 5 or 10 minutes looking at it (I did it in person, which I recommend, but you're reading this and probably not standing in Corn Hill). In that time, I want you to think about whether a city, given 20 plus years and 2 zoning code revisions, is still deserving of your love and affection, your hopes and dreams, your investment and blood and sweat and tears despite not being able to legalize the homes in that photo. Because it hasn't, and it breaks my heart.