NEWS: Gainesville to be the First City in Florida to Eliminate Single-family Zoning

On Monday, October 17, the City Commission of Gainesville, the largest city in North Florida, voted 4-3 to eliminate single-family zoning. The reform aims to create more opportunities for duplexes, triplexes, and quadplexes to tackle the ongoing housing shortages in the US. Similar reforms have been seen in many different cities and states, but Gainesville is the first to eliminate the exclusionary zoning regulation in Florida. (Gainesville)

The ordinance will go into effect immediately, according to Javon L. Harris (writer for the Gainesville Sun) and is part of a bigger city plan that will be managed by newly elected commissioners who will take office in January. (

However, there has been months of 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.

Also Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis and the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) plead against the elimination of the zoning. They argue the move will only benefit students and not address affordable housing shortages, and has not been studied enough to understand how the changes might affect infrastructure and neighborhood character. Housing advocates are on the other side of the debate to allow for denser and multi-family zoning, calling the reform an answer to the housing crisis. (Bloomberg)

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