Like I said upthread, reducing side-yard and front-yard setbacks would be a good start. More lots zoned R4+ would be another, since there are plenty of dilapidated homes selling for <$250k in R3 or below districts where no one is even going to try something anyway. The less a developer spends on acquisition, the more they can spend on finish material. Automatic up-zoning to R4/5 if a guarantee of high-quality front-facing facade maybe?
Of course, I don't really have a problem with the 4th flat story, or the 4th story with gabled roof. I don't think we can know for sure what's good or bad, and if a neighborhood or street were filled with
buildings of this height, nobody would care if they looked more like our existing housing stock. If we focus more on the things we can easily control (street design, trees, sidewalks, etc) and less on architecture/massing, people still won't care. As always, we should be honestly asking ourselves why neighborhoods with 2-3' setbacks between tall single family homes mixed in with even larger apartment/condo units work (quite well!) for rich white Americans but we should question every little outward-facing design detail here. Other than "people just don't like it," which I'm sorry, should not be the threshold for government regulation in my opinion (yes! I know the Supreme Court disagreed with me back in the 20s!)