City Commission Changes Policy to Encourage Affordable Housing

City Commission Changes Policy to Encourage Affordable Housing

At Wednesday’s City Commission meeting, the commissioners voted unanimously to adopt Ordinance 21-O-04AA. The ordinance, which amends the Tallahassee Land Development Code (TLDC), will change the definition of “Dwelling Unit” to include obsolete hotels and motels converted into residential units.

The new ordinance states, “When applied to the conversion of a previously existing hotel or motel into one-bedroom studios/efficiency apartments, three such one-bedroom studio/efficiency apartments are the equivalent of one residential dwelling unit.”

According to the meeting agenda, in September 2020, the City was approached by two developers regarding converting obsolete hotels into one-bedroom units to re-use the properties.

“City staff identifies a potential opportunity for providing additional housing inventory, particularly as it applies to ‘missing middle’ housing (which is a spectrum of housing between large lot single-family housing on one end and high-rise, high density units on the other end usually lacking in many communities as a housing type) and providing more price-attainable housing in high activity areas of the City,” staff reports.

Notably, the properties are not intended to be turned into homeless shelters — rather, they are expected to be apartments and condos for sale at market rate.

Commissioner Jeremy Matlow expressed that the language of the agenda item caused confusion.

“I think this land code change does a good thing, but I don’t want to confuse it with our effort to find housing and transitional housing for the homeless population,” Matlow said. “I just don’t want us to go down a path thinking we’re doing one thing when we’re doing something totally different. I think this is a great way to build density within our urban core and reuse buildings that aren’t serving their best purpose, but I just wanted to make sure we have clarity.”

The properties planned to be converted are University Inn, Days Inn, Quality Inn, Mainstay and Rodeway. Converted residences could be used for student housing and other purposes.

According to the meeting agenda, staff plans to monitor the conversions over the next two years and further refine the land development code.

3 Responses to "City Commission Changes Policy to Encourage Affordable Housing"

  1. This process sounds too ripe for kickbacks, graft, and associated corruption for our local elected officials to be involved with from start to finish.
    Local usual suspects should have no more involvement than the minimum rezoning necessary.
    Let the current owners determine who will be their target demographic to build, market, and sell the units too.
    There is also the State agency DBPR which regulates conversion to condominium that would have to approve each project.
    It actually sounds like a good idea if we can allow private business to call the shots.
    And somehow keep our greedy leftist local politicians from ruining it.
    Let the market decide who will purchase and at what price and keep social agenda out of it.

  2. “missing middle housing”… “price-attainable housing”… “one-bedroom studios”… “efficiency apartments”… “apartments and condos for sale”… “transitional housing”… “student housing”… and… “other purposes”

    Oh yeah, no confusion here… it’s all quite clear. (sarcasm off)

    Mixing alcohol and drug addicted homeless with teenaged students… yep; this ought to be fun to watch.

    For heaven’s sake, stop with the political gobbledygook. Designate it’s purpose, call it what it is, own the idea and plan, put a PPP together, and make it work…. that’s what “leaders” do.

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