This Thursday, with a still-broken municipal-hearing process that’s biased against ordinary citizens, our city council will consider an over-the-top, weather-postponed request to radically rezone a single-family lot and bring downtown-style buildings to Austin’s historic Montopolis neighborhood.

It’s the latest in a long series of rezoning requests targeting Montopolis, and together they threaten to displace numerous families that have called the area home for generations.

Hardworking residents have filed a valid petition protesting the zoning change, but will our “progressive” city council listen to their objections—or will it perpetuate Austin’s systemic displacement of low-income people of color?

Contact Mayor Steve Adler and the rest of the city council before this Thursday and tell them to stand with the families of Montopolis. Tell them to vote against Item Nos. 94 and 95 on their March 25 agenda!

The land developer making the request has targeted a parcel zoned for single-family housing (SF-3) in the center of the neighborhood and is seeking to convert it to the highest-density multifamily zoning available (MF-6). The change would allow buildings as tall as 90 feet—or as tall as 135 feet, if the developer utilizes the city’s misleadingly named “Affordability Unlocked” program. Amazingly, Affordability Unlocked would allow the construction of a condominium project in Montopolis where all units are designed for newcomers whose incomes are nearly three times as high as those of the neighborhood’s current residents, on average.

A development like that would send surrounding property taxes into the stratosphere and worsen the area’s already-dire displacement crisis.

The families of Montopolis deserve better. Older than Austin, the neighborhood has been designated a “sensitive and vulnerable” area under federal Health and Human Services guidelines. Its median family income is $32,000, only about one-third of the citywide figure ($97,500)—meaning that virtually all of the neighborhood’s current homes qualify as affordable housing for minority families. It should be protected and supported by municipal anti-displacement programs, not plundered as an extension of fast-gentrifying Riverside Drive or easy access to the new Tesla facility.

It’s time to stop the cycle of speculation, gentrification, and displacement of low-income communities of color in East Austin. Contact the mayor and city council using the information below, and ask them to vote against Item Nos. 94 and 95 on the March 25th agenda.

If the developer isn’t willing to work with community members to fashion an appropriate zoning change that works for everyone, then the request should simply be denied.

Together we can build an Austin for everyone!

Mayor Steve Adler: | 512-978-2100

Natasha Harper-Madison (District 1): | 512-978-2101

Vanessa Fuentes (District 2): | 512-978-2102

Sabino Renteria (District 3): | 512-978-2103

Greg Casar (District 4): | 512-978-2104

Ann Kitchen (District 5): | 512-978-2105

Mackenzie Kelly (District 6): | 512-978-2180

Leslie Pool (District 7): | 512-978-2107

Paige Ellis (District 8): | 512-978-2108

Kathie Tovo (District 9): | 512-978-2109

Alison Alter (District 10): | 512-978-2110

You may send a single email to the mayor and all council members using this form.

Here are the full details on this Thursday’s cases:

Item No. 94
NPA-2020-0005.01 (neighborhood plan amendment) Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 010927-05 the Montopolis Neighborhood Plan, an element of the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan, to change the land use designation on the future land use map (FLUM) on property locally known as 1013 and 1017 Montopolis Drive (Country Club East/Carson Creek Watershed) from Single Family to Multifamily land use.

Item No. 95
C14-2020-0029 – Montopolis Acres Rezoning  Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 1013 and 1017 Montopolis Drive (Carson Creek Watershed). Applicant Request: To rezone from single family residence-neighborhood plan (SF-3-NP) combining district zoning to multifamily residence highest density-neighborhood plan (MF-6-NP) combining district zoning, as amended.