This Thursday, City Council will consider an amendment to City Code that would curtail the use of Small Lot Amnesty to provide more affordable housing options in the urban core where such options are badly needed.
If we're going to realize on the Imagine Austin vision of a compact and connected city that is accessible and affordable to a broad range of people and income levels we'll need to get more housing on less land. Small Lot Amnesty is an infill tool that can be opted into by neighborhood plans that permit homes to be built on lots smaller than the Austin minimum lot size, if they were originally legal platted lots. For a full description, please see our article here.
In January, we wrote to Council with the letter posted below explaining our reasons for opposing this change.
Ultimately, we'll need to address lot size as part of CodeNEXT. In the meantime, this change strikes us as moving in the wrong direction, away from our comprehensive plan. We encourage Council to send a strong signal to staff that they do not support items that move us away from the goals of Imagine Austin and keep Small Lot Amnesty, as currently drafted, as an option for neighborhood plans.