Building Up, and Building Middle-Class Austinites’ Wealth

A suite of development policy changes will go before Council this month


Austin City Council holds a special meeting on proposed changes to density regulations in December (art by Zeke Barbaro / Getty Images)

Following relatively low turnout at a recent public hearing, City Council is moving ahead with a suite of changes to the city’s Land Development Code that hope to address housing supply affordability in a variety of ways.

Two proposals – a reduction in the city’s minimum lot size and an easing of rules protecting single-family homes, known as compatibility standards – seek to make homeownership more attainable for Austin’s middle class, especially in the city’s more expensive and exclusive central and western neighborhoods. Another proposal – the Equitable Transit-Oriented Development overlay – seeks to incentivize the construction of large apartment complexes near planned Project Connect stations, while protecting existing affordable, multifamily housing. Another proposal would facilitate construction of electric vehicle charging stations throughout the city.

The Planning Commission will meet next week, April 23, and a week after that, April 30, to debate and amend the proposals before voting on recommendations to Council. At its May 16 meeting, Council is expected to discuss those recommendations and vote to formally adopt them.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

City Council, HOME, Land Development Code, zoning

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