By Joyce Lobeck for Yuma Sun
A house under construction on a lot off Avenue A has already been sold and the builder intends to develop new homes on eight other lots, all left vacant after the city of Yuma’s improvements to the roadway.
It’s welcome news to the city in its desire to see an interest in turning vacant lots – perhaps with odd shapes and non-conforming sizes – into new homes and even small businesses.
And it is lending a hand by coming up with an infill development incentive program to encourage projects through such measures as utility credits, reduced permit and development fees and flexibility of regulations to accommodate those irregular shapes and sizes.
A proposed policy has been drafted and is expected to go before the Yuma City Council in the near future for consideration.
The target area is the north side of the city, but the policy could be applied to any established area of the community where there is a need. One such area that the city is marketing, possibly for an apartment complex, is a stretch along Arizona Avenue in the vicinity of 22nd Street where the city bought property and demolished homes for a roadway improvement project it no longer intends to pursue.
The idea is that redeveloping vacant lots within already developed areas of the city is a cost-effective way to add homes because water and sewer systems, streets, fire protection, parks and schools already exist in the neighborhood.
Therefore, infill would reduce the cost normally associated with development and would not require new or expanded infrastructure. It also is an efficient way to use existing infrastructure that was built to accommodate the development of the infill parcel.
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