Senior Planner Ben Rhoads presented a housing analysis to the city board of directors during the city board meeting on Tuesday.
City staff conducted a 24-month review of different housing trends in the city and the adjustable makeup of the housing stock in Siloam Springs to give the board a snapshot of where the town is regarding housing, Rhoads said. The cut-off time for the review was June 30, said Rhoads.
The housing analysis is part of the city board's goals for 2021-2022, Rhoads said.
Breakdown of housing showed that 75 percent of housing consists of single-family homes, Rhoads said. Duplexes accounted for 10 percent of housing, and multifamily homes are at 15 percent, Rhoads said.
"We have seen a drop in the time on the market for housing and with that an increase in housing permits that have been issued in 2021," Rhoads said. "We believe this uptick is due to several new subdivisions and plats that have flooded the market with buildable new lots."
Diving deeper into the data, city staff broke down the housing types for single-family classes based on the size of the units, Rhoads said. A total of 345 properties were sold, Rhoads said.
Mid-level homes, which range between 1,501 to 2,499 square feet, proved to be the most popular as the data showed 193 units were sold and 92 building permits were issued, according to the data provided by Rhoads.
The data states that entry-level homes that go up to 1,500 square feet were the second most popular type of housing, with 125 units sold and 86 building permits issued.
Executive-level homes more than 2,500 square feet were the least popular choice with only 27 units sold and three building permits issued, the data states. Rhoads said the data shows that the housing market is heating up.
Duplexes or two-family houses were not favored as highly, the data states. Only 13 units were sold, and 28 permits were issued, the data states.
Multifamily housing demand remained strong, the data states. The need in part comes from the steady supply of college students from John Brown University seeking off-campus housing, the data showed.
At the end of 2020, there were 148 units permitted for the Endura Park project, Rhoads said.
Staff conclusions showed a shortage of executive-level homes, Rhoads said. Most of the executive level housing is happening outside of the city limits where there are larger lot subdivisions, Rhoads said.
"We're wanting to make sure that we can coordinate better with developers, so the city is not getting too much of the same thing in the same area," Rhoads said.
The data states that another item the city wants to address is the parking issues in the R-3 (Residential Two-Family) and R-4 (Residential Multifamily) housing zones by having developers plan for adequate parking.
The last challenge revolves around senior homes, the data states. Staff suggests senior housing can take the form of low to zero maintenance single-family units within a controlled, planned community or as multifamily units that are owner-occupied like condos, the data states.
Several city directors weighed in on the housing analysis. Director Carol Smiley appreciated the city's focus on senior housing and parking issues. Smiley also said she was surprised by the number of duplexes in the city.
Director Mindy Hunt said the data confirms some of the things the directors have been thinking about. Hunt also said she was glad for senior housing opportunities. She asked Rhoads if the city has recommendations they can make, maybe about the comprehensive plan.
Acknowledging the city is playing catch up with the parking issue, Director Brad Burns said the city is learning from its mistakes.
Burns also said he knows Siloam Springs does not want to be compared to the four cities of Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, and Springdale but encouraged the city to invest in newer structures with character. Burns did not say what these structures would look like or what amenities they would offer.
Director Marla Sappington echoed Smiley's sentiments about R-3 parking.
"That is a concern and also for the safety because usually, it's families that are living in that and lots of kids," Sappington.
Sappington was also surprised that a large number of homes were leased and not owned and asked if it was a one-to-one comparison. Rhoads said he based those numbers on the census, and the city had to trust that the census forms were filled out correctly.
According to the data, 47.8 percent of homes are leased.
City directors also voted on and approved the following items:
• We Are The 22.
• Chamber of Commerce/Maker Space Update.
• Deputy Chief, Major Geoff Lewis' retirement/service recognition.
• Regular meeting minutes from the Sept. 21 meeting.
• Dedication of utility easements for 613 East University Street.
• Dedication of utility easements for 210 and 214 East Franklin Street.
• Dedication of utility easements for 22468 Marsh Road.
• Resolution 49-21 concerning a preliminary plat development permit for the 14900 block of South Arkansas Highway 43.
• Resolution 50-21 regarding a particular use development permit for 613 East University Street.
• Appointment of Sager Creek Advisory Committee.
• Resolution 52-21 regarding establishing the city as a public aircraft operator related to drone operations.
• Resolution 51-21 concerning a significant development permit for 610 West Tahlequah Street.
• Placing Ordinance 21-20 regarding the vacation of an unnamed right-of-way for 613 E. University St. on its first reading.
• Placing Ordinance 21-21 concerning the rezoning for 613 E. University St. from I-1 (Industrial) to R-3 on its first reading.
• August financials
• Administrator's report