FAN ADU Resolution?

#1

Should FAN weigh in on ADUs by having a vote? If you’d like to see a vote and help draft a resolution, you can do so here. What wording would you like to see in a resolution?


Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) address affordability by providing homeowners with additional income in order to help them offset their increasing property taxes, provides renters the opportunity to live in a closer neighborhood communities, provides more housing options at a time when Austin is struggling with the lack of housing choices and diversity in our central Austin neighborhoods, and fits in with the existing character of our Austin neighborhoods.

  1. Friends of Austin Neighborhoods supports families having the discretion to make their own decisions about accessory dwelling units (ADUs) based on their unique circumstances.

  2. Friends of Austin Neighborhoods does not support opt-in and opt-out provisions for ADU regulations. Complicated rules add additional cost burdens to families, makes it difficult for city staff and families to understand and implement regulations, and further complicates our land development code. ADU regulations should be city wide.

  3. Friends of Austin Neighborhoods recommends the following ADU regulation changes
    -Remove on site parking requirements
    -Remove the minimum lot size requirement
    -Building separation requirement should be lowered or removed
    -Submetering should be allowed
    -Changes should be city wide

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#2

For point 2, maybe include language along the lines of: “We recognize that all of our neighborhoods play an important part in welcoming new residents and in contributing to an abundant and diverse supply of housing.”

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#3

That’s a great addition! Like what I have below?


Friends of Austin Neighborhoods recognizes that all of our neighborhoods play an important part in welcoming new residents and in contributing to an abundant and diverse supply of housing. Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) address affordability by providing homeowners with additional income in order to help them offset their increasing property taxes, provides renters the opportunity to live in a closer neighborhood communities, provides more housing options at a time when Austin is struggling with the lack of housing choices and diversity in our central Austin neighborhoods, and fits in with the existing character of our Austin neighborhoods.

Friends of Austin Neighborhoods supports families having the discretion to make their own decisions about accessory dwelling units (ADUs) based on their unique circumstances.

Friends of Austin Neighborhoods does not support opt-in and opt-out provisions for ADU regulations. Complicated rules add additional cost burdens to families, makes it difficult for city staff and families to understand and implement regulations, and further complicates our land development code. ADU regulations should be city wide.

Friends of Austin Neighborhoods recommends the following ADU regulation changes
-Remove on site parking requirements
-Remove the minimum lot size requirement
-Building separation requirement should be lowered or removed
-Submetering should be allowed
-Changes should be city wide

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#4

I like this very much. The more organizations city council hears from the better.

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#5

BoA torpedoes North Hyde Park ADU variance

As Austin’s accessory dwelling unit ordinance revision enters its second year, those in the city trying to build ADUs continue to have a hard time. That was certainly the case at the Board of Adjustment’s last meeting, during which one North Hyde Park homeowner learned that the very mention of ADUs can put off board members who have been dealing with the topic for two years.

John Walewski was asking for a variance for his home at 4514 Avenue B. He is in the process of building a 550-square-foot accessory dwelling unit (ADU) for his mother-in-law in his backyard and was asking that the required three parking spaces for the property be reduced to two. Board members denied the variance 3-4, however, with Chair Jeff Jack and Board Members Brian King and Michael Von Ohlen voting against it. In order for a variance to be granted, six members must vote in favor.

The North Hyde Park Neighborhood Conservation Combining District does not allow parking on more than 25 percent of any lot’s width. Walewski explained to the board that the presence of two heritage trees on the property, a narrow lot and the configuration of the current building made the variance necessary. He said he had previously come up with plans to incorporate three spaces on the property but that the first one had been shot down by city staff and the second would not be permitted within the Hyde Park Neighborhood Overlay.

The neighborhood contact team neither supports nor opposes the variance, but Walewski said he had the support of his immediate neighbors and everyone on his block, and he told the board he’d gathered about 20 letters of support and only one letter in opposition.

“We’re the narrowest lot on our block. The other lots on our block could do three parking (spaces) if they did an ADU,” said Walewski.

Although the ADU ordinance is currently being revised, Walewski said he believes even under the new ordinance he would be required to provide three parking spaces.

Board Member Bryan King expressed a distaste for the topic in general, saying he had an alternate meaning for the acronym “ADU” but “wouldn’t use it on the dais.”

Other board members seemed less put out by the idea of building a 550-square-foot-home for a mother-in-law. Board Member Sallie Burchett said she would support the variance if the owner agreed not to use the building as a short-term rental.

Walewski quickly agreed to the stipulation. Jack appreciated that but said short-term rentals in the city are “almost totally unenforceable right now.”

“We can’t even get a credible school to adhere to the rules, much less some future property owner,” said Jack. (He was most likely referring to an earlier case concerning the Griffin School.)

When board members suggested that Walewski could get around the parking requirements by building the ADU without a kitchen, he seemed uninterested in that option.

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#6

That’s horrifying. Some of these committee members act like tyrants.

Here’s the Hyde Park parking count we did that showed almost all the blocks are more than half empty. One off-street parking spot would make no difference.

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