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New Albany City Council approves multi-family housing moratorium

The exterior of an apartment building with a "for rent" sign in the front.
Aprile Rickert
New Albany officials say the moratorium will allow them to explore ways to promote home ownership in the city.

New Albany officials have halted new multi-family housing construction and new permits for short-term rentals.

The New Albany City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Thursday initiating a moratorium on construction of new multi-family housing developments and new permits for short-term rentals, like Airbnb.

The action comes after a study done in partnership with the University of Louisville that found home ownership in New Albany is low compared with other cities.

Information in the study from the American Community Survey also shows nearly half of the developments built in New Albany over the past four decades have been multi-family housing.

Mayor Jeff Gahan recommended the council take this up last month.

City officials said the pause will give them time to update the comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance, which could take up to one year. They said they’ll also look at ways to promote home ownership and expand single-family housing offerings.

“A healthy community needs a good balance of housing options,” City Council President Adam Dickey told LPM News after the vote. “And we want to make sure that our community is balanced.”

The New Albany Plan Commission will now move forward with hiring a consultant to help with updating the comprehensive plan and zoning code.

The City Council will have final approval on changes, and Dickey said the public will have opportunities to weigh in along the way.

“We want to make sure that we're being mindful of the citizens and their public comments on this,” he said. “We want to be mindful of… the development community to make sure that we're not stifling development. So you know, all of [these] are factors involved. That's why it's important to try to work expeditiously to make these tweaks.”

Coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by Samtec Inc., the Hazel & Walter T. Bales Foundation, and the Caesars Foundation of Floyd County.

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.

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