Atlanta considering new permit law for smaller homes
Your dream downsized home could be harder to build under a new zoning ordinance making its way through the Atlanta City Council.
What's happening: City Councilwoman Marci Collier Overstreet is sponsoring legislation to require property owners to obtain a special permit to build a detached single-family dwelling with fewer than 750 square feet.
- Opponents of the ordinance say it would effectively ban homes of that size.
Why it matters: Advocates and elected officials say cities need to build more housing — all kinds, from smaller homes to skyscraper apartments — to combat an increasing affordability crisis.
Details: Overstreet told Axios in an email that the legislation is only intended to preserve the character of Atlanta's neighborhoods.
- She added this wouldn't apply to accessory dwelling units, or the granny flats in people's backyards.
- "The legislation prohibits nothing. It doesn't hamper growth in any way," she told Axios.
The other side: Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) advocacy group Abundant Housing Atlanta argues the proposal would add extra hurdles and months to the approval process, discouraging property owners and developers.
- The nonprofit also said small homes offer affordability, and they questioned why policymakers are not proposing this extra hoop for mansions.
What's next: Atlanta's Zoning Review Board is set to hold a public hearing on March 7 or March 14.
- Visit the NPU guide to find your Neighborhood Planning Unit if you want to opine on this proposal.
Editor's note: This story has been corrected. An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated that Overstreet is the City Council Zoning Committee chair. She served as the committee's chair last year.
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