9/23/23 - Harbortown Village Quick Look

We had to pick somewhere to start and a bite size, finite piece of the city felt as good as any. 

To get going, here's a map of all 224 properties in the proposed Harbortown Village (HV) district (the yellow and green dots inside the purple area). Of these properties, 60 are vacant land, and 164 have buildings. Of the properties that have buildings, 53 have no residential units, and the rest have 1 or more.

Let's pivot from the makeup of the district to the proposed new zoning.  Interestingly, the HV district is the only zoning district in the city to specify a minimum lot size. For most uses there isn't one, but for detached single family homes, that limit is 5,000sf. There are currently 44 detached single family homes within the district. But RZ, you ask, how many of them meet this requirement? Well, dear reader - only 26 of them. The other 18 would be non-compliant. That's a full 41% of the district. Additionally, the HV district specifies a minimum building height of 2 stories for a residential unit (hope you weren't gunning for a new patio home there!). For better or worse, the city doesn't provide an easy way to pull the height of buildings from their database, but there are only 44 single family homes in the district, so let's just go check how many are 2 or more stories. (insert 15 minute pause here...) Our quick count shows 39 of the 44 homes are 2 stories, which is certainly better than lot size compliance, but still raises the question of why?

We have no answers, but it's hard to see why either of these regulations are being proposed, especially when it's the only district in the entire city with these rules; we can't help but recommend dropping them.