City of Charleston Planning Department
About the Role
The Fellow will work under the supervision of the Planning Director to understand the issues and to develop a request for proposal for professional design services. At the completion of the project, the floors plans will be free to anyone that desires to build a new house in the City. Responsibilities: Field research to understand the scope and breadth of the issues; Create basic infill design guidelines to ensure the design solutions fit the character of the neighborhood; Researching examples of non-traditional building materials that can help lower construction costs; Consult with the Purchasing Director and local architects to help craft the projects goals, deliverables, and budge; and Develop a list of contacts to send the RFP too, including local architects and design professionals that have similar experience.
How We're Advancing Equity:
Our focus is on creating affordable housing on the City’s West Side. The city is dealing with residential blight and disinvestment in our oldest and underserved neighborhoods. While the City has been aggressively tearing down dilapidated structures, infill development on these newly vacant lots has been slow. This is partially blamed on overly restrictive codes and the economics of building affordable housing on small lots. As a result, the city is in the process of updating zoning codes to remove unnecessary barriers to development. This includes relaxing minimum lot size and setback requirements; removing on-site parking requirements; and increasing density by allowing duplexes and triplexes. To further assist in establishing affordable housing, the city applied for and received a grant to hire professional design services to create open source floor plan templates. The floor plans are to use non-traditional building materials and efficiency in design to create affordable housing that will fit on 25-foot-wide lots.
Key Skills & Qualifications (if any)
The Fellow will need to be: creative; self-motivated; have good communications skills; be able to work in a collaborative environment; and be able to research and summarize findings.