The City Council is expected to strike a long-standing clause that says duplexes in Chattanooga lose their R-2 status if the power is off for 100 days.
Dan Reuter, Planning Agency executive director, said that has led to many boarded-up duplexes.
He said the focus should be on working with owners to get them to fix up their duplexes and add to the city's housing stock.
Just having a long-term vacancy in a duplex could lead to the lost of R-2, he noted.
Mr. Reuter said, "These properties need to be upgraded. Owners don't need this 100-day thing to worry about."
The ruling applies to all prior situations where duplexes had lost their R-2 status.
The Planning Commission earlier recommended approval of the change.