- The City of Austin’s latest rezoning plan applies to areas with deed restrictions and HOAs, despite claims to the contrary
- Enforcing deed restrictions and HOA rules requires costly court action
- File your protest by December 5 to protect your home and neighborhood from the latest changes
Don’t be fooled! City Hall’s controversial “H.O.M.E.” rezoning plan affects almost every single-family property owner in Austin, even those who have deed restrictions or belong to homeowner associations (HOAs).
“H.O.M.E.” threatens to raise property taxes, which could force some longtime residents to sell, and disrupt Austin’s single-family neighborhoods. It is a two-phased plan that, if approved, will allow a 5,000-square-foot lot to be subdivided into two lots to hold a total of six units, and a 7,500-square-foot lot could be turned into three lots, with a total of nine units. Larger lots could be subdivided even further and hold even more units. This map shows if your home and neighborhood are impacted.
Shockingly, many of the plan’s most prominent supporters—including council members and at least one council aide—are claiming it won’t affect Austinites with deed restrictions or those belonging to HOAs. And according to one pro-“H.O.M.E.” website, the plan “[d]oes not infringe on deed restrictions or HOAs”. Another pro-“H.O.M.E.” website says “It simply allows people, within their current deed restrictions or HOA rules, to build multiple units on their lot [if] they desire to do so”.
Under “H.O.M.E., the city also intends to rezone almost all single-family residential properties in our community “by right.” That means neighbors will not be notified of building permits that violate deed restrictions or HOA rules. Residents will have to vigilantly monitor the city’s permit website, keep their eyes open for construction activities, and look up the permit for compliance.
According to the City of Austin’s Land Development Code Amendments Question Board:
“If Council approves an ordinance that allows up to three units on a single-family zoned lot, a property owner may construct up to three units without changing the property’s zoning. This means that the opportunity to protest the three-unit change to City Code is now.”
We recommend you take that advice! Stand up for your rights and file your protest. We will deliver your protest to the city electronically and a hard copy in person. The protest deadline has been extended to December 5—only three weeks away! You can also file your protest by mail here.
It is worth taking a moment to reflect on the divisive and cynical message implicit in these reassurances: This ordinance is meant for “other” unprotected and more vulnerable neighborhoods, not yours. Don’t worry about it. You’ll be okay. <Wink>
Trying to tamp down opposition by encouraging folks to think only of themselves, not communities with fewer protections and resources, is reprehensible enough. But it turns out that those reassurances are also not true: H.O.M.E. will affect you, even if you have deed restrictions or HOA rules.
No matter where you live in Austin, here are three steps you can take to protect your home and neighborhood from the city’s “H.O.M.E.” rezoning plan:
- File your protest by December 5. Thousands of Austinites have already filed their protests. Have you filed yours yet?
- Donate to our effort. Help us fund the costly litigation we had to file against the City of Austin, and help us reach Austinites who aren’t aware of the city’s assault on single-family neighborhoods. The more protests that are filed, the less likely the “H.O.M.E.” rezoning plan will be approved.
- Contact Austin Mayor Kirk Watson and your representative on the Austin City Council using the contact information below. Tell them not to approve the “H.O.M.E.” rezoning plan because it will hurt Austin!
Together we can build an Austin for everyone!