The city has rolled back its plan to expand areas “tiny houses” are allowed.

A proposal to allow tiny houses, or accessory dwelling units, citywide was part of a package of zoning ordinance “quick fixes.” The city has rolled back the proposal to only include R-4 and R-4A zoning districts, city planner Jessica Lavandier said at the July 3 NPU-B meeting.

Many NPU-B board members supported the rollback and expressed objection to allowing the units. 

Board members said the units would serve to add extra people on lots that can’t support them and would be exploited by landlords looking to make extra money.

“It totally goes against what single-family is,” said board member Bob Stasiowski.

The change would be an expansion of last year’s change that allowed tiny houses on R-5 lots, which are zoned for duplexes. R-4 and R-4A are the lowest size single-family lots.

The proposed change is part of phase two of “quick fixes” the city wants to make the zoning ordinance. The changes are easy fixes the city can make to improve the ordinance while it waits for a full rewrite that will come in three to five years.

The units, which would be less than 750 square feet, can provide extra income for a homeowner, new housing options and more affordable rents than large apartment buildings, consultants working with the city on the proposal have said.

NPU-B chair Nancy Bliwise said she wants to see more studies proving the units’ success in other cities before she would support the city moving forward with the plan.

“I think its really important to know whether or not these kind of accessory dwelling units have been found to be helpful for affordable housing,” Bliwise said.

Susan Campbell, another board member, said although the prices may be lower than apartments in Buckhead, the units still would likely not be affordable in most neighborhoods in the area.

“The private sector is not going to be helpful,” she said.