The college town of Gainesville, Florida, looks set to pass legislation that would eliminate single-family zoning and pave the way for more affordable housing. The rezoning would allow duplexes, triplexes and quadplexes to be built legal, or single-family homes to be repurposed into multi-family homes.
Currently, single family zones cover 50% percent more land than multi-family zones in the town. In the midst of an affordable housing crisis nationwide, a large portion of the new affordable housing that is being built in Gainesville is getting pushed to the outskirts of the city. This is contributing to congestion, longer commutes, and threatening conservation land. In addition, renters make up 60% of the town’s population. (Bloomberg.com, 2022)
Many see Gainesville, a college town, as a good place for higher-density development. Like many college towns across the country, it has a decent public transportation system and a young population that would benefit from more affordable housing.
However, there is pushback against the legislation, as many residents don’t want to see single-family zoning eliminated. They cite concerns about property values going down and increases in crime. Most of the pushback against zoning reforms like the proposal in Gainesville comes from the Not in My Backyard movement, or NIMBY, who seek to preserve single-family housing in wealthier areas for many of the same reasons. (mycbs4.com, 2022)