Greg Casar, an Austin City Council Member serving District 4  introduced a resolution that suggests an easing of building restrictions in  situations that would lead to affordable housing.

Buildings with plans to make at least 50 percent of its units affordable would be allowed to build a taller building than what the code would otherwise require for that neighborhood or be granted waivers for things like parking requirements or compatiblity standards for height and setbacks.

The proposal states that the defintion of “affordable” rental units would be affordable for people making 60 percent of Austin area’s median income or $51,600 for a family of four.

Council Members Pio Renteria, Delia Garza and Natasha Harper-Madison have offered support for the measure.

Projects that qualify could receive these benefits:

  • Waive compatibility standards for height and setbacks
  • Increase building height to 1.25 times the current zoning district’s height entitlements
  • Waive parking requirements
  • Reduce front yard and rear setbacks by 50 percent
  • Increase density, by 1.5 times the current zoning district’s density limits or allow six units, whichever is greater
  • Waive maximum floor-to-area-ratio
  • Waive the Residential Design Standards, as codified in Chapter 25-2, Subchapter E
  • Waive the requirement to submit a site plan for projects of 12 or fewer units
  • Waive common wall, roof, front porch, and other restrictions specific to duplexes in Section 25-2-773