Tiny Homes & RVs, plus some suggestions

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Louisa Brinsmade
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:27 pm

Tiny Homes & RVs, plus some suggestions

Post by Louisa Brinsmade »

On behalf of CM Pool


My thanks to Planning and DSD staff for the information provided in today’s memo on RVs, and the work they are accomplishing to allow Tiny Homes to be more easily permitted and installed as full-time dwelling units.

Memo: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 164405.pdf

I support the approach that staff is taking here and recognize that there are several barriers to considering the “vehicular”-type recreational vehicles as dwelling units, not the least of which is the different standard under which they are constructed for temporary use.

For now, I believe we need to focus on facilitating more Tiny Homes to be accessible for more people and leave the question of RVs off the table.
Distinct from RVs, I agree with staff’s recommendation for code changes to allow Tiny Homes – even ones that are delivered on a chassis (on wheels) – to be full-time dwelling units, but only as long as they meet International Residential Code standards for public health and safety.

I ask that we support staff in their recommendations here.

There are two additional things I want to work with staff and experts to craft for HOME Phase 1:

1. I want to make sure we manage the size of any new homes on lots by suggesting a Floor-to-Area (FAR) limit as a size constraint. In my conversation with staff and experts, that limit could be .4 or .5 depending on how many homes are being constructed.
2. I have mentioned this before, but I am interested in crafting a meaningful preservation incentive that is accessible to homeowners. Existing homes have inherent value and keeping those materials out of the landfill is environmentally sustainable.

During tomorrow’s public hearing, I will be listening for suggestions and solutions on how to achieve more options for homeowners who need them, and how to welcome more middle-income families and individuals into our neighborhoods.

Looking forward to the meeting tomorrow.

Chief of Staff
Office of Mayor Pro Tem Leslie Pool, District 7
Jose Chito Vela
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2022 8:16 am

Re: Tiny Homes & RVs, plus some suggestions

Post by Jose Chito Vela »

CM Pool,

Thanks to you and your staff for all the hard work on this important item. I agree with the approach on RVs - excluding them but inlcuding tiny homes that meet International Residential Code standards. With regard to your other suggestions, I need to learn more about the impact of both but I like the idea of a preservation incentive.

Chito Vela
Ryan Alter
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2023 3:15 pm

Re: Tiny Homes & RVs, plus some suggestions

Post by Ryan Alter »

I would like to echo all of CM Pool's suggestions here. I agree that RVs present a different type of treatment than tiny homes and as such should not be included. Additionally, I think the two further areas of exploration - FAR limit and preservation of existing homes - both would beneficially advance the purpose of HOME, which is the creation of more affordable housing throughout our City. As part of the FAR discussion, I think it would be beneficial to understand from staff the functional restraints impervious and building coverage limitations have and how adding FAR to that set of restrictions would impact house sizes.
I appreciate CM Pool's meticulous and thoughtful approach to this item. It is essential that we focus on the details so that we can get this right, and I thank CM Pool for leading in that effort.

Council Member, District 5
Natalie Deller
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2022 3:12 pm

Re: Tiny Homes & RVs, plus some suggestions

Post by Natalie Deller »

On behalf of CM Qadri:

Thanks for all your leadership on this effort, CM Pool. I agree with the additional considerations you've laid out to provide a simple yet meaningful preservation incentive. I look forward to working with you, staff, and stakeholders on these matters.

CM Qadri
Policy Advisor
Office of Council Member Zo Qadri, District 9