A FAR far better thing?

Floor-to-area ratio and much more are to be found in material linked from a new City of Austin information page on the proposed interim-development ordinance (or “McMansion” moratorium). This will be item 43 on today’s council agenda. Judging from last week’s comments (see closed-caption transcript; scroll down), today’s hearing should be a lively one. Every you-fill-in-the-blank with an opinion may, as always, send e-mail to the the entire city council with one click.

What’s proposed seems so permissive as not to alter anything much a great deal one way or another, but today’s proceedings may shed some light on particular councilmembers’ opinions on the matter. There’s so little enforcement of existing ordinances and zoning regulations that it’s all probably beside the point.

There’s no demolition permit for a house that I pass frequently. It once was home to about a dozen people. Then it was taken right down to the old cedar piers, unpeeled and complete with their bark. Then they were gone. Then all that remained was not much: one Craftsman-style porch pillar, part of the porch floor, and a couple of original studs. Then there was much, much more, entirely new, from the ground up. And up. Somebody who did manage to find the “remodeling” permit reports that it’s recorded as being for slightly over $40,000. If current ordinances and regulations permit something like this, or if they don’t but are not enforced, then what will change?

Anyone tired of seeing meters being bypassed at construction sites so that the unscrupulous benefit by receiving free what the law-abiding pay dearly for may report suspected instances to the electric department (or “Austin Energy”). It gives a certain feeling of satisfaction to see a temporary service pole and meter go up afterward.

1 Comment so far

  1. wae (unregistered) on February 16th, 2006 @ 7:44 am

    Also on the docket: the explosive issue of allowing dogs in an outdoor dining area. Surely the pro-pooch and anti-canine lobbies will be tearing it up over that one.

    As for the moratorium, it will be interesting to see how unified the council remains after the contentious first reading and subsequent discussion last week. I heard that ZAP voted to re-affirm their support for the moratorium at tonight’s council meeting, but there’s no mention of it on their Tuesday agenda.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.