Residents in the northeast district of Hutchinson, Kansas have raised objections to a city council vote approving the seeking of a grant for the development of 16 moderate income apartments in the Hampton East area.
According to the Hutchinson News, council member Jade Piros de Carvalho, who represents the northeast district, said she got a dozen emails the day after the approval, mostly from residents of the Foothill Estates neighborhood. She also saw people airing fears about the development in Facebook posts.
“The most common concern residents approached her with was what moderate-income apartments would do to property values in the area,” Piros de Carvalho said.
Other concerns raised included preserving the family-friendly character of the neighborhood, walkability in the neighborhood and class sizes at Plum Creek Elementary School, which sits next to the proposed development.
A few suggested the $400,000 grant would be better put to use fixing existing housing.
As Daily Business News readers are aware, misconceptions about affordable housing and incomes also effects the MH industry, in what has been referred to as NIMBY-ism (Not-In-My-Back Yard.) Our sister site, MHLivingNews, recently published an in-depth report on some facts and myths surrounding NIMBY-ism here.
Developer Jim Strawn told the Hutchinson News that he thought people might be confusing moderate-income and low-income – although he was quick to say nothing is wrong with low-income housing.
The income guidelines to qualify for moderate-income housing are $28,013-$70,031 for a single person, $32,025-$80,063 for a family of two, $36,000-$90,000 for a family of three or $40,013-$100,031 for a family of four.
“This includes housing for teachers, fire fighters and other similar jobs that bring in 80-120 percent of median income,” Piros de Carvalho wrote on Facebook, in response to concerns constituents had emailed her with.
“Our regulations, by most people’s account, are actually very strict.”
“There is some opinion that our insistence upon certain landscaping, sidewalks in new developments, etc., are unfriendly to developers and inhibit growth,” she said.
“We really should be doing more to encourage this type of needed growth.”
Strawn believes that being close to the school makes sense. The apartments were included in his plan, along with single-family homes.
“What better place to put them than next to the school?” Strawn said.
Piros de Carvalho told the Hutchinson News that the proposed development fits well within the city’s zoning regulations.
“In an R-4 residential district, the single-family homes and duplexes would be allowed without any extra permit. An apartment building will require a conditional use permit,” Carvahollo said, “But in an R-4 district, developers could put in manufactured homes – although not trailer [sic] homes – without any special permit.”
In the end, Piros de Carvalho is weary of overreaching.
“I think it would be government overreach for the city to tell developers they couldn’t do something with their property that is allowed under city rules,” said Piros de Carvalho. ##
(Image credits are as shown above.)
Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.