Aligning Land Use Code with Community Housing Goals in Lander
Lander, Wyoming | Completed 2020
After attending a Community Builders Leadership Institute trainingin 2018, local leaders from the City of Lander, Wyoming realized their own land use policies might be holding them back from the kinds of housing their community wanted and needed.
Although Lander’s population has grown steadily over time, the supply of housing has not—leaving the community with high housing costs, few housing choices, and an aging housing supply. While the aging housing stock presents an opportunity for reinvestment, local leaders fear that their own codes and policies are preventing building, renovation, and reinvestment in existing neighborhoods.
In Spring 2019, the City of Lander partnered with the Wyoming Business Council to apply for Community Builders Technical Assistance program to identify code barriers and recommended changes that allow for more affordable, responsible, infill housing in town.
Over the course of a six-month process, local leaders, builders, and community members worked with us to identify housing barriers in their local code. Realizing the need to engage the wider community in a conversation around housing, the project sought community involvement through a community forum and online survey—reaching over 500 participants and several thousand individual comments and ideas around housing.
After developing a vision for more housing choices and increased affordability in Lander, the team is now using a pilot version of the Wyoming Code Audit Toolkit, a Community Builders tool designed to help communities self-discover problems in their code. The project is currently underway and expected to wrap in Spring 2020.
Lander has fully amended their code to legalize a wider range of missing middle housing across their community, including some innovative solutions to allow smaller and more affordable homes. They are currently working towards getting those code changes adopted by City Council, and expect to have a fully amended code by Fall 2020.