Ideas for FAN's 2019 City Council Agenda- Policy Pushes

Hey all,
Please list some ideas you’d like to see FAN (and allies) push for at City Council this year.

My ideas, in no particular order:
-abolish the apartment ban
-abolish parking minimums
-allow daycares by-right, of all sizes, all throughout the city
-abolish compatibility requirements
-abolish compatibility requirements within 1/2 mile of any school, high-frequency transit stop, UNO
-re-establish small lot amnesty
-push for Reconnect Austin (bury 35 and reclaim frontage road for development/housing)
-abolish minimum lot size, replace with minimum lot width of 15’
-abolish occupancy limits
-ADU liberalization (placement, sizes, etc)
-Streets/Grid Master Plan (reconnect the grid)
-Fast track Fire Dept small truck replacement procurement plan
-support ebike rebate ala Austin Energy’s e-vehicle rebate program
-explore pension reform ala Blended Retirement System
-abolish parking minimums for alcohol-related businesses

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I’d like to see:

  • allow manufactured housing as ADUs (essentially convert requirements to MH zoning requirements)
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Great topic. Thanks for posting. Is all of your list currently part of the FAN platform or should we also have a discussion on what we take on officially?

I know abolishing parking minimums is, and that’s my #1 for 2019.

I can’t speak to everything on your list (yet) but I’d love to learn more. Personally, I’m a big fan of Sinclair Black and the Reconnect Austin plan.


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The existing FAN positions are, as always, based on votes of the membership and documented on the FAN website.

Some of the items in @chris78701 list are covered by the adopted FAN position that:

The land development code should allow all forms of neighborhood-scale housing (including small apartment complexes, single family homes on small lots, duplexes, triplexes, accessory dwelling units, row houses, co-ops, and tiny homes) throughout all neighborhoods.

I don’t see any reason to reduce minimum lot widths when FAN’s members voted to eliminate them completely:

Eliminate minimum lot measurement restrictions (lot depths, lot sizes, and lot widths).

FANs have voted to support liberal ADU regulations citywide:

FAN 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.

A vote of FAN members supported specific aspects of Reconnect Austin:

  1. Lower as much of IH-35 as possible through central Austin, including the central and north central portion.
  2. Better east/west connectivity by reconnecting all east/west streets across IH-35.
  3. Cap the lowered portions of the highway.
  4. Improve bridge safety with wide sidewalks, protected bike lanes, and shade trees.
  5. Improve frontage road safety with design speeds no higher than 30 mph, wide sidewalks with continuous shade trees, protected bike lanes, on-street parking.
  6. Any transit along frontage roads and across bridges should travel in dedicated lanes.
  7. Any transit stations in managed lanes of I-35 should be in line (no flyovers for buses out of managed lanes), and east/west transit connections should occur at the in-line stations.
  8. Use natural barriers (e.g. trees) to mitigate additional air pollution from added vehicles.
  9. Mitigate additional noise pollution from added vehicles (but not with 50 ft concrete sound walls or other unsightly barriers).
  10. Full economic analysis of the impacts to City of Austin tax base.

FANs have not (yet) formally supported the abolition of occupancy limits, compatibility requirements, emergency vehicle sizes (to allow for narrower street widths without compromising public safety), ebikes and other small motorized vehicles, or pension reform.

Any positions that FAN hasn’t yet formally taken can go in resolutions and to a vote of the membership, per the standard process. Anyone can draft a resolution here in the forum (or in a Google doc), and after some time to allow other FANs to discuss it and suggest changes, it takes one FAN board member to “sponsor” it and take it to a vote.

Thank you for expanding on some of those issues, @rcauvin.

My post was primarily meant to first initiate conversation to help determine the topics/issues for FAN to focus on, and then to initiate a membership vote on topics/issues that weren’t established.

Also, I think it’s helpful if the Board has a wide variety of issues that have the widespread support of membership in order to approach allies and work towards a coalition push on these issues where there’s mutual agreement.

I, at least, partially agree with you, Chris. I would like to discuss whether focusing on a few issues would be better than going with the wide net. Would it be more effective to make the case to the council and the public if it were more specific and clearly understood?

On the other hand, I could see how certain issues have to be a package deal to work, or maybe the idea is to create a greater vision with what you’ve listed as all necessary and essential pillars (assuming FAN members voted to support them all.)

Regardless we should makes such decisions sooner than later.

A top priority for many in the community, especially those who lived through a related zoning case, is “Preservation reform”. This could include taking LHD criteria back to 60%, creating an exit process for dissenting adjacent properties not Landmarked in adopted districts, etc. It also seems like a tremendous waste of resources = taxes (and volunteer hours) that could be spent elsewhere, to now be reviewing 1969 homes for approval to do anything out of fear it might be “historic”, or anything that starts with a 196X, or some might argue 5X. We have so many of these buildings still standing it’s absurd to think they might all suddenly vanish… We have had a related LHD resolution in the past, tied to a zoning case though more than reform recommendations. @Pete_Gilcrease, @linda.cangelosi, @RanaPierucci - any input?

Well, we’re already into the 2nd month of the year. Has there been any consensus on what’s next for FAN in 2019? Again, my bias or gut feeling, is to focus on a smaller number of manageable issues, but I’d like to hear from different perspectives.

@Phil_Wiley Having a stance against local historic districts in general would be great.
-Reform local historic district process (Require 60% of properties for approval, Allow owners to opt-out)

I’d also like to add the following for consideration (some are FAN recommendations already):
-Eliminate NCCDs (Neighborhood Conservation Combining Districts)
-Replace all residential parking permit areas with parking benefit districts (eliminate RPP as an option from code)
-Upzone within 1/2 mile from high-frequency transit stops, 1/4 mile on high-frequency corridors
-Upzone within 1/4 mile from low-frequency transit stops, 1/8 mile on low-frequency transit routes
-Create flexible zoning that changes based on location to transit without having to change zoning
-Eliminate Contact Teams
-Create Affordable Housing Bonus for For SF2+
-Legalize townhomes/rowhouses on all lots in the central core
-Eliminate setback requirements

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