Why

Popularity

Since 2020, duplexes have become a more popular housing type in Wichita and the City has seen an increasing number of applications for duplexes to be constructed in existing neighborhoods.

Designs

In response to public input (including civic plans), in some instances the City has placed design requirements on new duplexes - in order to help ensure that the new buildings are sensitive of existing neighborhood context and design.

Features

The following table shows many of the elements often addressed by the design requirements and how they relate to walkability.

Design Detail
Illustration
Requirement
Walkability Benefit
GaragesGaragesThe garage face shall occupy no more than 50 percent of the ground-level facade facing the street and may not project more than five feet in front of the main facade.Reduces inactive space and allows for the pedestrian-scaled entry to be the primary focus.
EntrancesEntrancesPedestrian-scaled entry shall be a prominent feature of the front elevation. Front doors shall be oriented to the street in front of the units.Accentuates the human scale of the home and invites interaction.
Windows and TransparencyWindows and TransparencyTransparent windows and/or doors facing the street are required. To meet this requirement, at least 10 percent of the facade must be transparent.Allows for eyes on the street which increases safety and can enhance social use of the street.
Roof DesignRoof DesignRoofs shall have variation in roof planes in order to break up the large roof mass through dormers, gables, or changes in elevation.Provides visual interest and consistency with neighborhood character.
Parking AreaParking AreaThe parking area shall not cover more than 50% of the front yard.Maximizes on-street parking, space for street trees, and green space.

Plans

The City of Wichita Places for People Plan presents the following vision for the Established Central Area (generally the areas of Wichita built around 1960 or before):

The Established Central Area is a place that provides for the movement of people - on foot, on bike, and through transit - in balance with automobiles. The creation of a connected, accessible community including strong neighborhoods, vibrant active centers and community destinations will demonstrate our commitment to development and public improvements that put people first. The reimagining of our urban areas will advance our economy and revitalize our community.

In order to help achieve that vision, the plan recommends six strategies, including the following:

  • Provide a diversity of housing options to attract new residents and allow existing residents to remain in the Established Central Area.
  • Encourage infill and redevelopment that is contextual to the environment in which it is occurring.

During the planning process, the Places for People - Zoning Recommendations were created in order to identify specific changes that should be considered. Below are some of the features discussed in that document and relate directly to the duplex design recommendations.

  • Frontage Typologies
    • Driveway width
    • Front-loaded garage placement / limitations
  • Massing and Façade Composition
    • Primary entry feature
    • First story transparency