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Franklin Considering Bringing Back Garage Apartments

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FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- Local builder Eric Smith putting the final touches on a carriage house in downtown Franklin.

To pass codes, however, he has to build a cool-looking-but-not-necessarily-needed connector to the main house.

"It will be considered part of the existing structure," Smith said. "That changes the zoning and the regulations."

This loophole way of building, however, may become a thing of the past.

The City of Franklin is looking at an ordinance which would allow accessory dwellings--like garage apartments--to be built on downtown properties for the first time in years.

"They wanted to expand the housing options for citizens," said Kelly Dannenfelser, Franklin's principal planner.

Dannenfelser says affordable housing--like carriage houses can provide--is at the top of her list.

"Maybe it's for a returning college student, maybe it's for a person with a life change like a divorce or some sort of life change that would help them get the housing that they need," she said.

While some believe cramming more people into the same lots could create challenges like more traffic, Smith believes it will actually increase walkability.

"For me with a young baby and my wife being able to walk to a close park, it means a lot," he said. "It's very healthy for them to enjoy those types of things rather than living far out."

The second reading of this ordinance is January 12.

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