After several drafts and more than two years of public hearings, the City Council approved zoning changes intended to stymie a trend toward houses that look bulky from the outside.
Although council members originally wanted to exempt Colonial-style architecture and similar styles from a provision that discourages flat facades, staffers recommended against it, saying that "a clear and equitably applicable definition of those styles which might be exempt would be extremely difficult to codify."
Instead, the rules provide that at least 25% of the front end of a house be set back 10 feet or more from the rest of the front facade.
Those hoping to build houses with flat facades, which are often perceived as bulky, will be able to make their case to a review board made up of architects and other residents.
The 5-0 vote came on a first reading of the ordinance. A second vote is expected in two weeks.