Housing Profile Raises Questions About How City Develops Going Forward
Arlington appears to be poised for a potential boom in development and redevelopment; but our existing housing stock – and land available for new housing – may limit the size and value of what that new development could look like.
A housing survey presented early in June to the Arlington City Council shows that houses in Arlington are smaller than many competing cities, and that the size and value per square foot of newer housing hasn’t kept up with those cities.
In particular, a significant amount of the housing built in the two decades beginning in 1990 are lower-value homes on smaller lots, while neighboring cities, particularly those in northeast Tarrant County, have seen higher property values from their newer housing stock.
The study also shows that the city has only a small amount of land zoned for new housing – 12% of all vacant land – and one third of that amount is for some form of apartment development. Another 14% of all vacant land in the city is agricultural; it seems unlikely all of that total would be used for residential development.
The Chamber of Commerce supports developing new, estate-type housing, but under existing zoning and with the relatively small amount of available land, that may be hard to achieve. Chamber leaders are reviewing proposals to re-write the city’s development code with an eye toward supporting higher quality development on vacant land and on parcels that are aging and could be redeveloped. That review includes housing issues.
The presentation given to the City Council on June 4 is posted at: http://arlingtontx.com/images/uploads/Horizon_-_Housing_Supply_Presentation_City_Council_Work_Session_6-4-13.pdf
A handout that packages the information in a slightly more detailed format is posted at: http://arlingtontx.com/images/uploads/2012_Single-Family_Housing_Profile_-_Final.pdf
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