Members of the Carrboro Board of Aldermen are looking to revise the area's building and zoning ordinances to alleviate traffic, parking and building density problems.
Aldermen discussed redefining terms like "group homes" and the possibility of restricting these developments in residential neighborhoods.
"It's a little sticky, what is legitimately a single family dwelling and what is not," said Alderman Alex Zaffron.
Tensions between residents, tenants and property owners mounted in July when several residents voiced concern about crowded housing and parking issues in the neighborhood.
Alderman Jacquelyn Gist suggested making sure the number of bedrooms in new developments is similar to existing homes.
Alderman Allen Spalt said he wanted to see examples from other towns who have dealt with this issue. "It would seem to me we would be better off with some examples," he said.
Another option discussed by the board is eliminating two family conversions or duplexes from future developments.
But Alderman Mark Dorosin said he wants to redefine what constitutes a duplex. Under the existing ordinance, a development can be considered a duplex as long as there is one common wall, which some aldermen said is an easy restriction to stretch.
"Change the definition of duplex," Dorosin said. "The wall should have to be a wall with living space on both sides."
He said this would prevent two essentially separate houses from being considered a duplex.
But Andreas Hay, a Pine Street resident, told board members that he is more concerned about eliminating high-density developments rather than focusing on duplexes. "I don't even like the idea of restricting the duplex," he said.
Board members also discussed the ability to build a granny flat, which allows the property owner to put rental space in an existing home.
But Nelson said that the granny flat option should be researched further before the board takes any action. "I do think we ought to pursue this."
The City Editor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.