We say no to decreased infill standards
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Infill development occurs when 2-acre or smaller parcels are developed with new houses in existing neighborhoods. Ordinance 820, before the County Commission at their July 11 meeting, would gut the existing standards and create more impacts from infill developments on those already living in our neighborhoods. Privacy, the environment, and quality of life will be diminished.
I am opposed to Ordinance 820 as proposed. The intent of infill standards is to protect the character of established neighborhoods and to minimize the impacts of new development on existing neighbors. The proposed standard of a 6' fence or vegetated buffer will do nothing to address the problems that come with infill housing:
• Loss of privacy because of orientation of new construction—windows overlooking yards and into existing homes’ windows, 5-foot side yards
• Tree removal that sometimes causes remaining trees to become unstable and fall in severe weather
• Street lighting destroying our dark-sky-friendly neighborhoods and shining into our windows
• Shading of yards and gardens
• Drainage problems that come with added hardscape (roads, roofs etc)
Existing homes cannot easily change the location of windows or private areas. The existing neighbors should not be required to provide screening to protect the privacy of their yards or interiors of their homes.
To mitigate for impacts of new infill development, please change the proposed ordinance to require, at the boundaries with existing homes:
• wider minimum side-yard and rear-yard setbacks,
• retention of trees adjacent to existing mature trees as practical
• onsite and downstream drainage that is capable of handling additional stormwater runoff
• limit retaining walls between existing lots and infill to 4 ft high, and require new lots to be individually graded to preserve trees
• minimal or high windows overlooking existing homes
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