per KUT News; The city of Austin Texas readies to greatly reduce the amount of land needed to build a home
Published July 19, 2023 at 9:59 AM CDT
In an attempt to encourage the building of smaller and cheaper homes, Austin leaders are angling to lower the amount of land required to build a house.
On Thursday, the City Council will vote on a resolution to start the process, although it could still be years before changes go into effect.
“This is a simple and elegant way to make it possible for homeowners who are being priced out to be able to stay in their homes,” Council Member Leslie Pool, who is spearheading the resolution, told KUT. “We have programs for people who have low salaries, but we don’t have a lot of options for those who earn enough to be OK (but can’t purchase a home).”
Throughout cities, land codes dictate not only what you can build and where, but how tall and wide offices or homes can be. Among these rules is what is called the minimum lot size, which sets a floor for how much land an owner needs in order to build.
The majority of Austin is zoned so that you need at least 5,750 square feet to build one home. The resolution would drop that minimum to 2,500 square feet and allow owners to build up to three homes on each lot.
The land could also be subdivided. If someone owns a 10,000-square-foot lot, they could divide that into four lots and, theoretically, build three homes on each, totaling 12 houses.
These changes, Pool said, come in response to the incredible rise in housing costs in Austin.