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ORANGE : Council Agrees on Home-Size Limits

October 28, 1994|LESLEY WRIGHT

City Council members have tentatively agreed to adopt some controls on construction of large homes, but rejected the idea of allowing single-room-occupancy hotels anywhere in the city as they debated a zoning code update that has been six years in the drafting.

The council also decided not to establish procedures that would give the Design Review Board authority to designate historic buildings and neighborhoods. The issue will be considered separately at a future time.

Last week's study session was the council's final chance to polish an update of the city's zoning ordinance. A public hearing on the massive document will take place sometime after the election but before the end of the year, according to Community Enhancement Manager John Godlewski.

One of the last sticking points was the decision to adopt a "floor-to-lot-area" ratio that defines the permissible size of a house in relation to its lot size. The regulation is intended to prevent "mansionization" of neighborhoods where homes are built almost to the edges of their lots, Godlewski said.

Several council and planning commission members said the suggested formula was too generous but would calm residents concerned about losing their property rights.

The council also decided not to consider regulations that would permit single-room occupancy buildings, which often are used as temporary housing for the homeless.

Council members said they were concerned about the small size of the 155-square-foot rooms. The city recently adopted an affordable housing plan that should accommodate many of those who would seek that type of shelter, Councilwoman Joanne Coontz said.

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