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Sacramento city leaders take new steps to create more housing in new, existing neigborhoods

Sacramento takes new steps to create alternative types of housing
Sacramento takes new steps to create alternative types of housing 02:08

SACRAMENTO — The City of Sacramento is creating a new blueprint for future growth in the next two decades.

The city council has adopted a new general plan that lasts until the year 2040 and could change the look and size of new homes.

"We are the first in the country to allow this kind of 'densification' so that we achieve more affordable options for people," Mayor Darrell Steinberg said at Tuesday's meeting.

The city council voted to expand what kinds of homes can be built on land set aside for traditional single-family residences.

"We have got to make it easier to build more diverse housing types, and that's exactly what this policy does," Mayor Steinberg said.

Things like duplexes, triplexes, and even garden-court cottages are now allowed under these new development standards.

"This is definitely a strong step in the right direction to allow additional flexibility and allow builders to look at building outside the box from what they've done in the past," said Chris Norem with the North State Building Association.

The city said these alternative homes are needed to help out middle-income individuals and families – people who make under $100,000 a year and are currently priced out of the market.

"As we build more types of housing, especially types of housing with smaller units or more units on a single lot, the prices go down," said Matt Hertel, the city's long range planning manager.

Lot sizes and the homes built on them can also be smaller now, but officials say there are still protections to ensure the new units blend in.

"We still limit the height of any new development," Steinberg said. "There are still appropriate design standards."

It's a new look for neighborhoods so that a diverse range of people can still call Sacramento home.

'We want to make sure that we have more housing types that are more affordable to more people so that folks can continue to stay here in Sacramento," Hertel said.

These new changes take effect in March. Developers say it could still take a year or more to begin building these new types of units. 

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