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Tallahassee, Leon County may change zoning plans to make more housing

Posted at 7:16 PM, Mar 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-07 19:16:33-05

The City of Tallahassee and Leon County Commissions both agree that they want to make more housing options available in the city.

The city commission is introducing plans to change zoning of five areas in their comprehensive development plan. Some of these zoning changes would make the areas multi-family or higher density residential areas.

Commissioner Jack Porter said this could provide housing for people who can't seem to find what works for them.

"The missing middle is what it is called," Porter said. "So, a lot of people might not be able afford to own a single family home, and you can fit a lot more people obviously in a multi family home."

However, some commissioners said they have concerns about what this potential change in zoning could do to the residents already living there.

"We've seen it happen in other cities that when you begin to do infill development that way, gentrification happens, which means you're pushing out what I call the indigenous population," said City Commissioner Curtis Richardson. "Those people who have lived in those neighborhoods for years."

But, Porter said the city will keep an eye on these possibilities.

"As we review these policies and recommended changes to the comp plan, that has to be at the forefront of those conversations. So, that is still in development," Porter said. "But, I will say is that there are still immense benefits that can offset the risks of gentrification."

These changes to the city's comprehensive plan will be officially introduced at the March 8 city commission meeting.