Opposes McMansion Ordinance

RECEIVED Thu., Oct. 19, 2006

Dear Editor,
    I was disappointed to see that the Chronicle has been beguiled by the screw-the-rich rhetoric of the McMansion proponents [Best New and Potentially Sexy Zoning Ordinance in Austin, “Best of Austin,” Oct. 13].
    The McMansion ordinance benefits large-home owners at the expense of small-home owners; makes Central Austin increasingly inhospitable to families; obstructs the natural process of densification; condemns us to a creaky (but expensive) inventory of increasingly substandard housing; maintains an unfair share of the tax burden on modest properties; stifles innovative design; hands over aesthetic regulation to reactionary neighborhood groups; penalizes two-car garages; encourages smaller yards; and further lengthens the lead time for new construction, the cost of which falls on buyers.
    That's a lot for one ordinance to live down. It's not worth the right to “lounge naked in your back yard” with the “crickets and salamanders.” (If you're lounging naked with crickets and salamanders, odds are you're not paying $350,000 or more for a central Austin home.)
    If the McMansion ordinance was the “best” new zoning ordinance, Austin's in a lot of trouble.
Chris Bradford
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