The City Council is preparing to take on the topic of Accessory Dwelling Units at this Thursday’s (10/15) council meeting. For those that are unfamiliar with ADU’s – this would allow homeowners in Allandale to build a second structure, up to two stories, in the backyard for use as a rental property. This is a very divisive issue within Austin and the neighborhoods – how to develop housing while preserving the quality of life and character in the neighborhood.

This vote will have a very significant impact on our neighborhood so I urge you to educate yourself on the topic and let council members know how you feel.  Your voice cannot be heard if you do not speak up.

City Council Member Contact Information:

Mayor Adler: Steve.Adler [Email address: Steve.Adler #AT# austintexas.gov - replace #AT# with @ ] 512-978-2100

Mayor Pro Tem Tovo: Kathie.Tovo [Email address: Kathie.Tovo #AT# austintexas.gov - replace #AT# with @ ] 512-978-2109

Council Member Houston: Ora.Houston [Email address: Ora.Houston #AT# austintexas.gov - replace #AT# with @ ] 512-978-2101

Council Member Garza: Delia.Garza [Email address: Delia.Garza #AT# austintexas.gov - replace #AT# with @ ] 512-978-2102

Council Member Renteria: Sabino.Renteria@austintexas.gov512-978-2103

Council Member Casar: Gregorio.Casar [Email address: Gregorio.Casar #AT# austintexas.gov - replace #AT# with @ ] 512-978-2104

Council Member Kitchen: Ann.Kitchen [Email address: Ann.Kitchen #AT# austintexas.gov - replace #AT# with @ ] 512-978-2105

Council Member Zimmerman: Don.Zimmerman [Email address: Don.Zimmerman #AT# austintexas.gov - replace #AT# with @ ] 512-978-2106

Council Member Pool: Leslie.Pool [Email address: Leslie.Pool #AT# austintexas.gov - replace #AT# with @ ] 512-978-2107

Council Member Troxclair: Ellen.Troxclair@austintexas.gov512-978-2108

Council Member Gallo: Sheri.Gallo [Email address: Sheri.Gallo #AT# austintexas.gov - replace #AT# with @ ] 512-978-2110

Here are a few articles on the ADU topic, one of which is from our Allandale Newsletter.

1.       http://www.austinmonitor.com/stories/2015/07/adu-schedule-shorty/

2.       http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2014-06-20/then-theres-this-split-views-on-adus/

3.       http://www.allandaleneighbor.com/ana_newsletter/2015/2015-02.pdf

Not in Our Backyards: ANA’s Resolution Opposing Accessory Dwelling Units

4.       https://mobilityatx.com/reports/findings.pdf (page 20)

Last week, the Planning and Neighborhoods Committee recommended the following code amendments regarding accessory dwelling units (ADU). This was in opposition to the Austin Neighborhood Council and ANA which also passed a resolution in 2015 against ADUs. Both organizations opposed the new policy on ADUs because it will stress infrastructure, add more cards to streets, and change the zoning restrictions.

City of Austin Planning and Neighborhoods Committee proposal to council:

  • ·         Allow ADU’s on lot’s as small as 5,750 square feet (.13 acres approximately). Under current code ADUs up to 850 sq ft are allowed on lots 7,000sqft and larger.  This would be applied citywide including SF2 and SF3 zoned areas (this would apply to Allandale). Recommended 3-1 vote (Tovo opposed).
  • ·         Require one onsite parking space. Supports staff interpretation that the existing code grandfathers lots that don’t conform to parking requirements. Recommended 3-1 vote (Tovo abstained)..
  • ·         Change the maximum size to .15 FAR with no cap on the size of the ADU and keep 550 max sq. ft. limit on second floor. Recommended 3-1 vote (Tovo opposed).
  • ·         Endorse preservation bonus idea to preserve existing main house when building a new ADU. –  Recommended 3-0-1 vote (Gallo abstained).
  • ·         Any ADU built after Oct. , 2015, may not be used as a short-term rental. Not recommended 2-2 vote (Tovo/Renteria for; Gallo/Casar against).
  • ·         Any ADU operating as an STR prior to October 1, 2015, will be classified as a Type 1B and counted towards 3% cap in a census tract.  Recommended 3-1 vote (Gallo opposed).
  • ·         Require ADUs built under relaxed development requirements be affordable to families at or below 60% MFI.  Forwarded to the Council for discussion. No information has been provided as to how owners would be monitored to comply with affordability rules.
  • ·         Eliminate requirement for separate water meter reduce upgrade requirements for water service for small ADUs. – Forwarded to the Council for discussion.

 

Michael Nink

michaelnink [Email address: michaelnink #AT# hotmail.com - replace #AT# with @ ]

512.656.0058