Note from HNA President Mark Harkrider to City Council Member Kathy Tovo July 23, 2015:
Council Member Tovo:
On July 15, 2015, the Hancock Neighborhood Association passed the attached resolution asking the City Council to disallow duplex developments within the HNA boundaries. As District 9 Council member and as a resident of a nearby neighborhood, you understand the development challenges facing central Austin's older single-family neighborhoods. In the Hancock neighborhood, the new occupancy limits for unrelated adults, along with the rise in property values and taxes, have helped prevent the demolition of large numbers of single family homes to be replaced by stealth dorm duplexes. However, in recent months, we have seen investors from Houston to Midland buy single-family residences with the intent of replacing them with duplexes. At the same time, our neighborhood is also attracting young families with small children who are buying what is available. More single-family homes would be available if duplexes were not allowed in SF-3 zoning, and the Hancock neighborhood would retain its single-family characteristics which will, in turn, support our elementary school, parks and other services.
In passing this resolution, HNA members agreed with the City of Austin's Planning Commission,which in an action to stop the misuses of single-family zoned property, unanimously passed a recommendation on February 15th, 2015, for the City Council to create a new zoning category called “multi family lite” which would encompass duplexes, fourplexes. and sixplexes.
The Hancock Neighborhood Association understands the requested amendment to the SF zoning might be addressed within the CodeNext process, but at this time, HNA members ask that you convey this resolution to appropriate City staff, to the Mayor and Council Members in a manner you deem appropriate.
Best regards, Mark Harkrider