Virginia Bill Would Legalize Duplexes Throughout the State

By Peter Fabris | January 10, 2020
Duplex
A row of new townhouses or condominiums. By Roman - Adobe Stock

Virginia lawmakers are considering a bill that would increase the legal density of housing across the state. The measure would make Virginia one of a handful of states to explore a statewide zoning mandate in response to an affordable housing crisis.

The bill doesn’t ban single-family housing, but it leaves policy regarding siting, design, setback, and other considerations for local governments to decide. A related bill would legalize smaller flats—aka accessory dwelling units—throughout the state.

Oregon became the first state to ban restrictive single-family zoning codes statewide in July 2019. The Virginia bill would also enable more dense housing on lots that are currently reserved exclusively for detached homes.

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