SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Dozens of San Jose neighborhoods could be seeing some big changes to help ease the housing crunch. The city’s planning department is considering an idea to allow multiple-dwelling units on lots previously zoned for single-family homes.

“My number one concern is the neighborhood being too crowded,” said Michelle Deocampo.

She lives in the Steinbeck Allen neighborhood which is on the edge of the city-designated Blossom Hill/Oakridge “urban village.” The neighborhood is close to busy streets and shopping but still seems to be a quiet oasis filled with single family homes.

It’s where Deocampo has raised a family for 28 years.

“We bought in a residential neighborhood,” said Deocampo. “We didn’t purchase in a high-density neighborhood. I think there’s better places in San Jose to build high-density housing.”

It’s all part of a plan being discussed now at city hall for officially recognized urban neighborhoods where shopping, transit and housing would come together.

“On the edges of those urban villages you might have a slight increase in density and then transitioning into your single-family neighborhoods,” said Jared Hart, a Division Manager with the San Jose Housing Department.

Under the plan, single neighborhood lots would be allowed to have up to four dwelling units, such as duplexes or four-plexes.

“This is one tool that we’re exploring to be able to provide more housing,” Hart said.

One councilmember says it’s an idea worth looking into, especially for neighborhoods closer to transit and light rail.

“What I don’t want to see is a mish-mash of building heights everywhere,” said Councilmember Johnny Khamis.

San Jose set a goal to build 25-thousand homes by the year 2023, but is lagging far short. The city is also considering adding housing to city-owned community centers.

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