Missing Middle Housing

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Missing Middle

Public Hearings

Joint meeting with the Housing and Human Concerns Committee and the Planning Commission
Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at 7.p.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall
1017 Middlefield Road

What is Missing Middle Housing?

Missing Middle Housing is a term used to describe duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes that are compatible in scale with detached single-family homes. A concise definition is “house-scale buildings with multiple units in walkable neighborhoods.” 

It is described as “missing middle” for two reasons:

  1. It is rarely constructed - while single-family homes and mid-rise apartments have been commonly constructed in the last 40 or 50 years, duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes have not. They have been “missing” from new construction.
  2. Income Level – Missing Middle Housing is more affordable than single-family homes, and can be a valuable form of housing for moderate, or middle-income, families. 

Where is it Located?

Missing Middle Housing is located throughout Redwood City’s older neighborhoods. Rather than being built in larger tracts, which was common in the 1960s and 1970s, duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes were interspersed with single family homes in neighborhoods with dense grids of streets and near transit. Most of these neighborhoods are zoned R-2, R-3, R-4, or R-5, which allow for multi-family housing. 

Barriers to Development

Existing zoning requirements can create barriers towards renovating or building new examples of Missing Middle Housing. Specifically, these barriers fall into four categories:

  • Minimum Lot Size
  • Minimum Lot Width
  • Parking Requirements
  • Minimum Open Space

Contact Us

Planning Division