WOODSTOCK — The Woodstock City Council approved a study Monday night to further study local housing, to potentially influence future decisions on residential developments.

The board unanimously approved the contract with KB Advisory Group totaling $30,950. The study will build on a countywide housing study conducted by KB Advisory Group last year. The new study will specifically focus on the housing needs and issues within Woodstock’s residential landscape.

The study will include the housing supply and demand driving forces in the city, identify specific housing demand and deficiencies and create a list of suggestions to meet those needs. The city plans to use the “recommendations-focused” data as a roadmap to potentially guide its strategies and rulings on residential projects.

“Our goal is to give you a document that will help you make decisions on housing policies,” City Manager Jeff Moon told the council.

Senior City Planner Katie O’Connor said the city is already aware of what current and future residents desire for housing in Woodstock — affordability and availability. But the housing study can provide strategies on how to possibly make those desires a reality.

“I think in this study we’re more interested in what does the data say that we need to do, and not so much on what people want,” O’Connor said. “What are the recommendations for Woodstock, and what are the implications of changing the way we do things or not?”

A finalized report will also be drawn up and presented to the city.

The report will include the types of homes in Woodstock, their age, condition, size, amenities, pricing and sales trends. It also includes research on local household and employment trends, including affordable housing needs.

Analysis will also be performed on the anticipated housing needs, additional inventory that may be needed to meet demand, current locations for both new homes and redevelopment, potential residential locations near employment and commercial areas and the adequacy of the city’s zoning strategies.

The housing study could be used to guide the city from 2022 to 2027.

With its approval of the study, the council also greenlit an optional task in the contract that will assess Woodstock’s housing market to that of five comparable cities. Moon said that data was not included in the countywide study conducted in 2020.

Moon added that any policy changes stemming from the study will still go before the city council, and the public will have their opportunity to weigh in on any updates at that time.  

According to KB Advisory Group, Cherokee County's average house price jumped from $265,397 in 2013 to $390,928 in 2019, and there has been an increase in housing units being built that cost upwards of $400,000.

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