Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

September 17, 2020
Tooele City Council reviews multi-unit minimum dwelling unit sizes

The Tooele City Council discussed minimum dwelling unit sizes for multi-family dwelling units during their Wednesday evening meeting.

This item was previously discussed by the planning commission during their Sept. 10 meeting.

Jim Bolser, Tooele City community development director, presented a City code text amendment to address the minimum required unit size.

City officials want  a more flexible approach to the size requirements, as well the ability to respond to market conditions affected by the minimum unit size, according to Bolser.

In section 7-14-5 of the City code, regulations are found for unit sizes for multi-family units. 

Unit size depends on the zoning district in which the use is located and the type of parking provided for the unit. 

All of the various types of dwelling units become “lumped together” and limit the opportunities for smaller, or one-bedroom units, to be provided for the segment of the market that would need this type of housing option, according to Bolser 

The proposal is intended to accomplish three goals — create a greater separation between one bedroom units and larger units in multi-family developments, address the minimum dwelling unit sizes to be more responsive to changing market conditions, and separation of units considering the difficulty of providing smaller units under current city code provisions, according to Bolser.

Ultimately, the amendment will provide the opportunity to introduce a larger amount of smaller residential units into the market, Bolser said.

Bolser said that the proposal would not only acknowledge the unit requirements, but also establish a proportionality by which different unit sizes and types could be avoided within a development. 

“These intents together are collectively intended to serve the greater attainability of housing options for the citizens of the community,” Bolser said. 

In section 7-14-5 of the City code, the table of minimum dwelling unit size currently establishes the minimum dwelling unit size allowed within the residential zoning districts of the city. 

Multi-family dwelling projects should be encouraged to provide a variety of unit sizes and layouts, along with allowing one-third of the total units in multi-family dwelling projects to be a one-bedroom unit, according to Bolser.

Bolser would like to add that projects that are approved or constructed in phases, should maintain compliance with the terms of the section of city code regarding the allowance for one-bedroom units as if each phase is an independent project, he said.

Some of the square footage requirements for minimum dwelling size need to be changed, Bolser said. He proposed that the minimum size of a one-bedroom unit in the MR-25 zoning district with a single garage be changed from 750 to 700-square-feet.

The square footage requirements in the MR-16 and MR-8 zoning districts should also be changed, according to Bolser.

During the meeting, a public hearing was held and no comments were made.

All of the members of the city council voted to adopt the ordinance.


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