Tax/Zoning Policy and Architecture

This article got me thinking about how tax policy and and zoning laws shape not just the density and mix of uses, but can have a profound impact on the form our buildings take.

Do y’all see ways that our policies might be shaping unique outcomes in our city?

In my neighborhood, lots of houses have a huge attic room that is easily converted into a bedroom or family room. This is due to the current restriction of 2 stories for a SFH. The attic room must be below a certain ratio of sqft to the first two floors, and we get lots of houses with very steep, very tall roof lines.

1 Like

Hi Dwight, are these new houses or old ones?

I’m thinking of new houses on tear-down lots in the Midtown area. I’m not sure if its policy or market driven, but most of the old houses built in the 60s have a standard attic that is not a living space. New houses in the area almost always have finished space up top.

Got Ya, we have very few new houses over here in East Raleigh. I can think of ~7 built since 2005 ish. I live in one of the 4 that are 2 stories, and maybe they are what you are talking about. The second story is mostly covered by roofing with a big dormer that doesn’t feel like an attic from the inside? There are 3 single story houses that were built, which don’t look like they have live in attics. Here is the latest 817 N King Charles Rd, 817 N King Charles Rd, Raleigh, NC 27610 | Zillow

But, we have loads of remodels and flips. There are 8 around me that are being flipped right now. It is interesting to see which ones do additions or just remodel and sell. I thought this one was neat 2343 Stevens Rd. Was a 1300 sqft single story. They kept the front facade, stripped to bones, and are building back with a second story. Should look really nice and have more space. You can’t see it from these views, but they saved the old chimney which is cool.

1 Like

Hey Dwight, I was thinking about the ADU options that are moving at a glacial pace through city council, and one thing that made me think of this is the “1 and 1/2 story options”. The proposal was for a 15’ setback from side and back property for that, and

“20.5’ total/12’ sidewall (habitable space on second level cannot exceed 50% of floor area).”

Wouldn’t this incentivise me to build a “barn style” roof, to help have more headroom/maximizing interior space and keep within a 12" sidewall?