The Brookhaven City Council will consider an overhaul of the city’s zoning code at its Tuesday, Oct. 23 meeting. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 4362 Peachtree Road.

The proposed zoning rewrite includes a Buford Highway Overlay District, a 10 percent workforce housing mandate on new multi-unit residential developments in the Buford Highway Overlay, allowing for concurrent variances, the creation of “Master Planned” districts and mixed-use districts, and provisions to allow construction of backyard cottages and secondary suites.

City Council members will need to make a policy decision on how to regulate short-term rentals, such as Airbnb. The Planning Commission is also asking the council to expand the 10 percent workforce housing mandate for new apartment complexes beyond the Buford Highway Overlay and make it citywide.

Affordable housing was raised as an issue in the city two years ago by a group of pastors and faith leaders concerned about the many people living on and near Buford Highway being forced out of their homes as developers built luxury townhomes and mixed-use developments.

The council responded by approving the formation of an Affordable Housing Task Force which recommended, among other things, providing developers incentives to include workforce housing in their projects.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says no more than 30 percent of a person’s income should go toward paying for housing. Brookhaven is defining workforce  housing as 80 percent of the metro Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area based on HUD numbers. That translates to $42,000 for one person or $60,000 for a four-person household.

Affordable housing activists say the city should use Census tract figures to define area median income for those currently living on Buford Highway. That AMI, they say, is closer to $24,000 per household.

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.