Building Homes with Alleys Access Being Discussed by City Council

By: Mary Hall,

In a possible effort to create affordable housing in the City of Dexter where currently no buildable plots are available, the Dexter City Planning Commission discussed the possibility of building affordable housing on plots that currently face alleys.  They feel it could be a viable option, and have handed their discussion and its parameters over to the Dexter City Council, who is in its infant stages of discussion on this matter as part of normal reviews of master plans and zoning ordinances. City Council Member Paul Cousins, made it clear that they are in no way, shape, or form ready to made any kind of decision, pro or con, regarding housing along the alleys.

Many homes that have backyards that back up to an alley also have garages that are accessible only by that alley. These homes are grandfathered in and break no laws by using the alley to access their property.  However, anyone who currently wishes to build a second property on their back lot to be accessed by the alley requires a special variation.

During the Dexter Forum meeting of August 19, 2018, this issue was discussed at length.  Many questions were raised, such as how the city would insure that any new housing that went up in these areas would be affordable. This is why it was reaffirmed that this is in discussion phase only, and there would have to be many issued worked out should it be put into play.

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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