'Chronicle' Credulously Swallows Load of Crap

RECEIVED Tue., Oct. 17, 2006

Dear Editor,
    Whoever wrote the fawning copy for the award for the McMansion ordinance [Best New and Potentially Sexy Zoning Ordinance in Austin, “Best of Austin,” Oct. 13] needs to come over for a visit. On my street, this abomination is going to prevent me from building a second story or a garage apartment (both on existing footprints) for my growing family; and my next-door neighbors (family of five living in 1,050 square feet) must choose between demolishing an existing garage apartment in which the kids' aunt lives or foregoing most of their second floor. Or, as seems more likely, moving out of central Austin. All this while every other lot on the block has at least two dwelling units on it already.
    This ordinance simply hurts families who weren't here early enough or aren't rich enough to have bought large lots – and it will lead to a net decline in affordable housing in the central city as people demolish existing garage apartments or fail to build new ones.
    Most of the task force that drew up this abomination lives in homes which violate the spirit, if not technically the letter, of this ordinance (their homes are certainly as large or larger than anything I'd build under the old rules). Shame on the Chronicle for credulously swallowing this load of crap.
Mike Dahmus
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