Smaller living spaces could lead to changes in New Braunfels ordiance | Community alert
With the possibility of such projects in the future, New Braunfels city officials are proposing a review of the ordinance that would define efficiency and studios and identify vehicle parking standards for these types of housing units. .
Jean Drew, a senior planner with the city’s planning and development review department, told members of the planning committee on Tuesday that city staff had identified the need to determine an appropriate parking standard for the city. efficiency and studios which consist of a common living room, with a separate room authorized only for the bathroom.
“Recently at various development meetings we have been approached by a number of different projects with an interest in building efficient apartments, some are new developments and some are redevelopments,” said Drew. “We discovered during the process that New Braunfels does not have efficient apartment parking standards, and we do not define this use in our ordinance.”
Drew said owners of several existing hotels have expressed interest in the possibility of converting their hotel use into efficient apartments, meeting both a national trend and the need for single-family housing.
The proposed ordinance would define an apartment or efficiency unit as “a dwelling unit comprising a single room for cooking, eating, sleeping and living, and a separate room for the bathroom and toilet, also called a studio or unit”.
The proposal would set the parking standard at 1.1 spaces per unit. For example, a building with five units would require six spaces after rounding the number to accommodate tenants and visitors. A building with one unit would only need one parking space.
In the Tuesday meeting agenda file available on the town’s website, Drew wrote to commissioners that “the redevelopment of the property is highly desirable in many ways.”
“Adaptive reuse to meet current market needs before existing use deteriorates is desirable,” she wrote. “It’s a luxury for a community to have such opportunities, because few communities have an economic climate that promotes adaptive reuse. Using existing infrastructure reduces the cost of the service, providing economic and environmental benefits to the community. “
Drew added that the proposed new use of efficient apartments would help meet New Braunfels’ housing needs for the workforce, “while maintaining active use of the property and meeting the housing needs of the workforce. ‘a growing city.
The Planning Commission did not follow up on the proposal.
City council members have the final say on any proposed ordinance with two readings in separate meetings.