The City of Orlando is interested in implementing new rules for the way duplexes are being built in downtown’s neighborhoods.
The area affected by these proposed rules is called the “Traditional City”. A majority of Traditional City homes are single-family, however, duplexes have long been a part of the mix of housing options downtown.
For a number of reasons, including the rise of homeownership, duplexes originally intended for renters grew in size to meet the market demand. Residents of surrounding properties have expressed concern about the way these newer structures are shaping the character of their neighborhoods.
Currently, duplexes are only allowed in two types of districts with allow muli-family units:
- One to Two Family Districts (R2A)
- One to Five Family Districts (R2B).
The City’s proposed regulations affecting duplexes are written to make them more compatible with the surrounding single-family units.
Here is a summary of those changes:
- Reduce the maximum allowed bulk and height of duplexes in the Traditional City: To achieve this, the ratio dictating the maximum livable area of each duplex, based on the size of the lot, has been decreased in One toTwo Family Districts (R2A) from a Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 0.50 to 0.45. Additionally, duplexes are restricted to two stories in One toTwo Family Districts (R2A). In both One to Two Family Districts (R2A) and One to Five Family Districts (R2B) the maximum combined sqft for a duplex is 4,000 sqft.
- Promote single family character: Tandem units will now be allowed in interior lots. Tandems are being promoted for their single-family character from the street. These units can be considered front-to-back duplexes that do not share a common wall, similar to a single-family home with a mother-in-law suite in the back. Lots can also be split, so that each duplex unit can sit on its own lot. These fee-simple lots are intended to make homeownership of these duplex units less complicated. Finally, side-by-side duplexes will not be allowed in One toTwo Family Districts (R2A).
- Reduce the negative impacts of garages and parked cars: The City plans to more strictly enforce the existing curbcut code for single lots. This is a two-car wide driveway from the street that can then be split to provide access to both duplex units. Also, only allowing front-to-back duplexes and tandem dwellings in One to Two Family Districts (R2A) takes one garage away from the front of the lot.
- Improve the appearance of duplexes and tandems: Because tandems were previously only allowed on corner units, they were under greater appearance review standards than duplexes. Based on the state of many new duplexes, the City feels that greater appearance standards should be applied to all types duplexes.
- Reduce mass even further for Colonialtown North: Colonialtown North Neighborhood staff have recommended that duplexes in this neighborhood be even smaller than their counterparts to the south. Here the recommended FAR reduction is from 0.50 to 0.35 FAR.
There will be a public workshop as the second part of the Municipal Planning Board’s regular meeting on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 8:30 am in City Council Chambers, 2nd floor of City Hall at 400 S. Orange Ave [Gmap].