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Saturday, February 15, 2014

New Home Construction at 713 S. McDonough St.

 Decatur GA
--During construction at 713 S. McDonough St. ------FOR SALE   INFO HERE
Before construction at 713 S. McDonough St. Decatur GA
photo from google maps.
Comments:
Wylie Roberts said...I personally am thrilled as every bigger, nicer, new, two-story house goes up in my neighborhood.
However, some have NOT wanted or liked these changes, and pushed for a new rule to be implemented in 2008. It is called the “Floor Area Ratio” (FAR) rule (not to be confused with the Lot Coverage Ratio rule).
Here is a summary of the rule: It governs how much you can add to or renovate your home. At first glance, it appears to be a reasonable rule that prevents “over building”, but in reality, there are already other rules that prevent this (such as the Lot Coverage Ratio, set backs, story limits, and height limits) and instead all it does is prevent reasonable and full use of all of your home, without any benefit to the “public good”. Total Lot coverage has always been limited to 40%. But the new FAR rule added in 2008 mandates that “total floor area” also be no more than this same number of square feet, and garage space and accessory buildings must be counted. This means that a building footprint that covers 30% of a lot (very typical for existing one-story homes) would hit 60% if a full second floor were added, which exceeds the 40% FAR limit. In order to add a full second story, your building footprint would have to be no more than 20% of your lot square footage, which very few homes are. A family should be able to not only add a full second story, but use the attic space under the roof over the second floor as well. Doing so has no detrimental impact to the environment and does not increase “impervious surface” on the property or contribute to run-off issues. To allow these reasonable things, the floor area ratio limit would need to be around 80%, not the absurdly restrictive 40%.
Here is the effect of this new rule:

It prevents many from being able to add a full second story

It hurts property values. One real estate agent estimated that the average home in Decatur would immediately be worth anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 MORE if this rule were repealed.

A large number of existing homes already exceed the FAR limit. So this rule is arbitrary and capricious, and prevents families from improving their homes as much as many of their neighbors already have.



I have started an online petition at Change.Org to repeal or amend the rule.

Will you take 30 seconds to sign this petition right now?
 Here's the link:
http://www.change.org/petitions/city-council-of-decatur-ga-eliminate-the-floor-area-ratio-far-rule-in-the-udo

Here is more from: Wylie Roberts:
Lot Coverage Ratio = amount of square ft. covered by house or driveway as a % of total lot square footage. It is set at 40% max, and always has been. This prevents excessive water runoff during rain and allows water to be absorbed by soil.
Floor Area Ratio = Total Square Footage of all enclosed space, on all floors, including an enclosed garage (except for basement space) as a % of total lot square footage.
Most homes are between 20% and 35 % lot coverage with the foot print of the main structure. Very few if any are under 20%.
So here is the problem:
Very common in Decatur is a 30% footprint two story home with a basement and partial use of attic space with a dormer or two.
This gives a floor square footage of 80% ( 30 for basement, 30 for first floor, and 20 for 2nd floor).
But a home right next door with the same size foot print (30%) and no basement can't even add a full second level or use any of the floor space under the attic.
So the rule creates special classes of homeowners with different rights as far as size of home they can have. Which is inherently unfair, and why I am seeking for the FAR rule to either be eliminated or modified to give 80% to EVERYONE, inclusive of basement and garage.
The irony is, that if square footage is so evil, without regard to lot coverage, why do we allow an exception for basements?
If home A can have a basement, why can't home B ,without a basement, have a comparable amount of space by adding a FULL second floor and/or using the space in their attic?
If you want to know why so many of the beautiful old bungalows are being torn down and replaced by new construction (with a basement), it is because that is the only way to get a reasonable amount of home square footage, which the FAR rule otherwise prevents.

2 comments:

Wylie Roberts said...

I personally am thrilled as every bigger, nicer, new, two-story house goes up in my neighborhood.
However, some have NOT wanted or liked these changes, and pushed for a new rule to be implemented in 2008. It is called the “Floor Area Ratio” (FAR) rule (not to be confused with the Lot Coverage Ratio rule).
Here is a summary of the rule: It governs how much you can add to or renovate your home. At first glance, it appears to be a reasonable rule that prevents “over building”, but in reality, there are already other rules that prevent this (such as the Lot Coverage Ratio, set backs, story limits, and height limits) and instead all it does is prevent reasonable and full use of all of your home, without any benefit to the “public good”. Total Lot coverage has always been limited to 40%. But the new FAR rule added in 2008 mandates that “total floor area” also be no more than this same number of square feet, and garage space and accessory buildings must be counted. This means that a building footprint that covers 30% of a lot (very typical for existing one-story homes) would hit 60% if a full second floor were added, which exceeds the 40% FAR limit. In order to add a full second story, your building footprint would have to be no more than 20% of your lot square footage, which very few homes are. A family should be able to not only add a full second story, but use the attic space under the roof over the second floor as well. Doing so has no detrimental impact to the environment and does not increase “impervious surface” on the property or contribute to run-off issues. To allow these reasonable things, the floor area ratio limit would need to be around 80%, not the absurdly restrictive 40%.
Here is the effect of this new rule:

• It prevents many from being able to add a full second story

• It hurts property values. One real estate agent estimated that the average home in Decatur would immediately be worth anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 MORE if this rule were repealed.

• A large number of existing homes already exceed the FAR limit. So this rule is arbitrary and capricious, and prevents families from improving their homes as much as many of their neighbors already have.



I have started an online petition at Change.Org to repeal or amend the rule.

Will you take 30 seconds to sign this petition right now?

Here's the link:
http://www.change.org/petitions/city-council-of-decatur-ga-eliminate-the-floor-area-ratio-far-rule-in-the-udo

dustan said...

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