Urban Affairs: Council may limit home sizes
Thursday, February 16, 2006
The Austin Planning Commission usually tackles an issue before it goes to the City Council. But on Tuesday night, the commissioners were following the council's lead when they backed a proposed ordinance to temporarily limit the size of some homes in older neighborhoods. The council gave the ordinance preliminary approval last week and will consider giving final approval tonight.
The 7-to-1 commission vote extended the limitations to duplexes as well as single-family homes.
Some of the commissioners dropped the pretext that the temporary ordinance was needed to address a drainage emergency. Drainage is a significant problem, they said, but this ordinance is largely intended to address a compatibility clash between larger, redone homes and their smaller, older neighbors.
Commissioner John-Michael Cortez said they all recognized that the drainage emergency was mainly a justification for the emergency measure, which will be in place until June.
"It is buying us the time to really address the problem," Cortez said. At that point, the council hopes to have more permanent regulations ready for consideration.