Santa Fe Planning Commission backs change to apartment unit rule




Santa Fe property proprietors would be allowed to hire out dwellings at the identical lot on an extended-time period basis while not having to live in certainly one of them below a proposal unanimously encouraged overdue Thursday by using the city Planning Commission.
But fee participants stated other proposed adjustments to the metropolis code intended to assist alleviate the city’s housing shortage need extra work.
They asked for extra observe of permitting on-road parking to satisfy parking necessities for accent dwellings, typically known as casitas or guesthouses, in addition to similarly consideration of the Land Use Department’s potential to put into effect the Land Development Code.
“Enforcement and parking are two troubles that we think need to be revisited, and there needs to be greater attention placed on the ones because it pertains to how this can roll out and the way — especially in parking — how it’ll affect one of a kind neighborhoods with one of a kind street sizes,” member Pilar Faulkner said after creating a motion to suggest approval by the town governing body.
The vote, which marks a win for Mayor Alan Webber, who has promised to sell introduction of greater affordable housing in Santa Fe, got here after a nearly two-hour public listening to that drew extra than three dozen audio system on contrary facets of the problem.
The thought to do away with a decades-antique provision that prohibits absentee assets owners from renting out two houses on a single lot become the maximum contentious.
Currently, the city code prohibits a assets proprietor from renting a primary living and an accent unit on the identical belongings lengthy-term. The property owner is required to live in one of the devices if the opposite is rented.
“Santa Fe has a properly-documented and understood inexpensive housing crisis, and this antiquated town ordinance is persevering with to lessen the quantity of available and less expensive long-term housing on the market by adding useless restrictions on casita construction and housing,” said Jamie Durfee, who have become the face of the town’s housing shortage after she received an eviction observe for a casita she is renting on a property in the South Capitol location where the principle residence is likewise being rented.
“Casitas are inherent to Santa Fe’s subculture, and they represent a unique possibility for young professionals to have a separate accommodation that feels like home,” she told fee individuals.
Others, however, expressed worries about absentee landlords and modifications that would tear on the cloth of current neighborhoods.
“It will cause increased density in many neighborhoods, and they’re cautious as to whether or not or now not they are able to absorb that density,” stated Karen Heldmeyer, a former city councilor who’s the appearing president of the Santa Fe Neighborhood Network, a community advocacy organization.


“There’s not anything on this ordinance that speaks to affordability,” she delivered. “You can build a million-greenback guesthouse in case you want.”
The proposal also calls for regulating the size of accent dwelling devices by the “gross ground vicinity” in preference to by means of lot insurance, in addition to easing restrictions on length and peak.
Land Use Director Carol Johnson said the proposed adjustments wouldn’t exchange the policies on quick-time period rentals. Occupancy of a living unit is taken into consideration short-time period if it is rented for less than 30 days.
“Only if each units [on the same lot] could be used for long-time period condominium would there be a provision that permits the owner now not to stay at the assets,” she said of the code trade.
Architect Sandra Aguilar advised fighters to give the suggestion a shot.
“Stop being so scared of trade,” she said, generating applause. “We need housing.”




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