Staff has suggested limiting height and impervious cover -- objective standards to avoid compatibility issues when two-story structures are erected next to bungalows. Planning Commissioner Maggie Armstrong says the matter might be harder to resolve than it seems -- in part because it might involve reducing the number of unrelated adults permitted to share a housing unit from six to three, as many cities do.
"If we start tinkering with [residency limits]," Armstrong says, "we really have to understand the implications." Such a change could affect large households of immigrant workers and some student housing arrangements. The Codes Committee has explored an alternative to the staff's proposal: Creating a separate use category for high-residency duplexes, which would allow neighborhood plans to apply conditions and additional regulations to superduplexes without eliminating them altogether.