The Cold Hard Truth of Zoning
According to Chapter 4 District Regulations, City of Fort Worth Zoning Ordinance
Was there ever a better country singer than George Jones? Okay … let’s not get into an argument over that! Later in “The Possum’s” career, he recorded a song written by Jamie O’hara called “The Cold Hard Truth.”
Here is a great verse from that song:
I’ve come to set the record straight
I’ve come to shine the light on you
Let me introduce myself
I’m the cold hard truth
Look at the table above. It’s from the City of Fort Worth Zoning Ordinance. Carleton and Western are currently zoned “B.” In the table, “P” stands for “permitted.” Compare column “B” to column “A5″ – because that is what we are going to rezone to.
There are 4 “permitted uses” for areas zoned “B” that are not permitted in areas zoned “A5.”
Those uses are:
- One-family zero lot line detached
- One-family zero lot line attached (twin home)
- Two-family detached
- Duplex/two-family attached dwelling
Want to see what a “one-family zero lot line attached (twin home) looks like?
Let me introduce myself. I’m the cold hard truth.
This is the why rezoning exists – to bring regulations into alignment with the actual conditions on the ground. We don’t have “twin homes” in our neighborhood now. But they ARE permitted by our current zoning. This isn’t a “scare tactic.” This is the truth. And developers are planning large twin homes like this as we speak.
Most of the homes in Arlington Heights are 50 ft wide. Go outside and measure your yard. Our current zoning allows a developer to pack multi-story houses into lots that are 25 ft wide. That’s probably the average width of a “big room” in most houses in Arlington Heights right now. Zoning was created arbitrarily in the 40’s. Most of our area was originally zoned “B.” But that wasn’t how it was built up after zoning. That’s why you don’t see homes on lots that are only 25 ft wide in our neighborhood now.
Everything in this post is referenced in the city zoning ordinance. Check it out.
Don’t think for one second that developers who don’t know our neighborhood won’t take advantage of our current zoning. We live in an awesome neighborhood. Carleton and Western are two of the only streets in Central Arlington Heights where a developer can still build a monster twin-home duplex. That’s an attractive proposition to many developers who don’t know our neighborhood (because they don’t know that most similar projects have failed).
We have something special here. And, by the way, that includes the awesome duplexes that have already been built on 50 foot wide lots! As we’ve said 1 million times – we don’t hate duplexes and we don’t hate renters. We are simply trying to protect ourselves from speculative development in the future. Do you want “twin homes” in our neighborhood? Read the zoning ordinance and decide for yourself.
If you are part of the 17% who are undeclared on this issue, or part of the 9% who are opposed to rezoning, I urge you to read the zoning ordinance for yourself and decide if you want to join the 74% (and climbing) majority of people who just say “No!” to monster duplexes.
And please remember that your current land use rights are not impacted. Keep renting your duplex or your single family home. We are all in favor of renting nice properties to nice people. Just don’t build a “McDuplex” in our hood.