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Both sides gear up for Council vote on ADUs

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 by Nora Ankrum

Ahead of Thursday’s final City Council vote on whether to loosen restrictions on construction of accessory dwelling units (also known as ADUs or “granny flats”), Council Member Greg Casar will be holding a press conference today in support of the measure. According to an announcement from his office, “A recent report commissioned by the City of Austin identified heavy restrictions on ADUs and other affordable housing types as impediments to fair housing and contributors to housing segregation.” The announcement says Casar also plans to bring a new resolution before the Housing and Community Development Committee on Wednesday “calling for housing desegregation to be a top priority for the City as it rewrites its land development rules.” In the meantime, opponents of easing ADU restrictions are circulating a flier outlining their case. Calling the measure that goes before Council on Thursday “the biggest change to City Code in 20 years,” the flier asserts that ADUs are in fact “not likely to create lower rents,” that they will increase “neighborhood traffic, flooding, etc.” and that they would be allowed even where neighborhood plans or deed restrictions would otherwise restrict them.

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