Another victory for the YIMBYs at the state level.

In an effort to address Vermont’s housing crisis, Gov. Phil Scott last week signed a bill allowing duplexes anywhere year-round residential development is permitted, VTDigger report.

Triplets and quadruples are also permitted in water and sewer service areas, according to the outlet.

The measure, which has other provisions to reduce local and state barriers to homebuilding and amends Proposition 250, has bipartisan support, with 135-11 votes in the House and 27-2 votes in the Senate.

There were no major changes to Bill 250, which some critics say tweaks to the 50-year-old law would do little to ensure affordability for new housing, something Scott proposed when he signed the bill a point of view.

“Given the depth of our housing crisis, we know more reforms are needed to truly turn things around,” Scott said, according to the outlet. “I will continue to pursue common-sense modernization to ensure that all Vermonters can afford afford a safe, decent home.”

The law does authorize one-time spending of millions of dollars to build affordable housing, though that cost is currently tied to state budget negotiations. It also reduces parking requirements; developers say they can use that space for additional units. Residents also cannot use area “characteristics” as an argument for attractiveness to affordable housing projects, VTDigger said.

However, major changes to Bill 250 will have to wait at least a year because several studies and reports on how to modernize the law have yet to be submitted. However, according to the governor, more work needs to be done.

“Given the extent of our housing crisis, we know more reforms are needed to really turn things around, especially Bill 250,” Scott said, as reported by VTDigger.

In recent years, states and cities across the country have tried to address the housing shortage by allowing multifamily construction in places where it has been prohibited. Some are more successful than others.

Washington recently enacted a law allowing the construction of duplexes and quadruplexes in most urban neighborhoods. Oregon and California eliminated single-family home zoning in 2019 and 2021, respectively.

Meanwhile, Gainesville, Fla., was set to become the first city in the state to eliminate single-family zoning citywide earlier this year, but the city commission overturned allowing duplexes, triplexes and quadruples. Residential vote. Built on land zoned for single-family homes in University City, Bloomberg News.

The reversal could signal an uphill battle for the “in my backyard” crowd in red states, following backlash from local residents and state Republicans who threatened to intervene, according to the outlet.

— Ted Glazer

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