Much has been made of the Eliot historic conservation district rezoning proposal. Most of residential Eliot is being down-zoned from R2 to R2.5 which is more reflective of what is currently on the ground and slightly limits what can be built after tearing down an existing house. (The corridors are mostly getting up-zoned slightly and a new mixed use zone instead of the RX or EX designation they had before.) See the Map App for detailed information.
However, another proposal is going through the city right now called the Residential Infill Project. This project will be effectively increasing what can be built in single-family zones across the city. It will be allowing:
- Internal house conversions (creating multiple units inside an existing house).
- Secondary accessory dwelling units (one inside the house and one detached).
- Cottage cluster development (multiple smaller houses on a single lot).
- Stacked flats (units arranged on top of each other as opposed to side by side).
Many of these changes, when combined with the down-zoning to R2.5 will have the effect of actually increasing the allowable density in Eliot. Essentially if you were a density advocate worried about Eliot’s down-zoning, fear not, we are still up-zoning. Just not quite to the extent that we would have before. There are a lot of moving pieces so we’ll have to wait for a more finalized draft to see the real effect of these changes, but I expect that we will be glad we down-zoned the historic conservation district to match neighboring zoning. Time will tell.