BY COUNCILOR STAUBER:
The city of Duluth does ordain:
Section 1. That Section 50 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, be amended to amend Section 50-36.2 to read as follows:
Sec. 50-36.2. Same--Eligibility.
The owner of any tract of land comprising an area of more than four and less than 20 acres may submit to the city council a plan for the use and development of all such tracts for one-family homes, two-family homes, townhouses, and/or multiple dwellings containing no more than eight dwelling units, provided that such tracts are located within the S suburban, S-2 suburban residential district, R-1 one-family residential districts, the R-2 two-family residential district, R-3 apartment residential or a combination of such districts. No use or development shall be permitted except in conformity with a specific plan complying with the standards and requirements hereinafter set forth. With respect to low density planned development, such standards and requirements shall supersede any inconsistent standards or requirements set forth elsewhere in this Chapter.
Section 2. That this ordinance shall take effect and be in force 30 days from and after its passage and publication.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: Currently special use permits for low density planned developments are authorized for areas of land consisting of between four and 20 acres. This amendment eliminates the 20 acre cap and would authorize a special use permit for land areas greater than four acres.
The low density planned development special use permit is an effective tool that allows cluster housing developments that benefit the community as follows:
i. Less impact on the natural environment because the housing is clustered on part of the site and at least 15% of the site is left natural;
ii. Increased housing diversity because cluster housing developments often result in housing types that are not typically found in Duluth, including townhouses and condominium project.
The comprehensive plan recommends that cluster housing be used in many parts of Duluth, especially in areas covered by the sensitive lands overlay. Many of these areas are sites larger than 20 acres.
Several cluster housing projects have been proposed over the past few years that could have used the low density planned development special use permit, but were on sites larger than 20 acres. These potentially beneficial projects either didn’t occur or had to use cumbersome methods to work around this limitation on the ordinance.