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ACC officials to hear presentation on "missing middle" housing

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Opticos Design
A "cottage court" is one example of "missing middle" housing.

Athens-Clarke County officials are set to hear this evening about the results of a housing study.

The focus of the study is on so-called “missing middle” housing, which is designed to fill a gap in the housing market between typical large-scale apartment projects and traditional single-family houses. Examples of missing middle housing might include smaller two or three story apartment buildings with fewer than a dozen units in walkable neighborhoods.

However, the study finds that much of ACC is covered by zoning laws that don’t allow that kind of housing, which can be appealing to both millennials and boomers. That means that in order to diversify the county’s housing mix, commissioners will have to change zoning laws that dictate things like minimum square footage, minimum lot size, and driveways.

One focus of missing middle housing is locating housing in walkable neighborhoods. The study cites neighborhoods like Five Points and the Boulevard/North Chase Street area as good candidates. The proposed redevelopment of Georgia Square Mall also presents possibilities. According to the study's authors, other areas like the Baxter Street and Hawthorne Avenue corridors are transformable.

The presentation, by Opticos Design will be streamed online on the county’s YouTube channel, beginning at 5:30.