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TWITC: Save Town Lake and Save Affordable Housing?

Lots of local political content in this week's issue, but in particular, two surprisingly good articles from Katherine Gregor.

First up, a good run-down of the Waterfront Overlay Ordinance notable for not giving Jeff Jack's crowd the uncritical reception which has been their unearned right in past pieces. It gives the minority report adequate shrift and lists the membership of the task force so people can see who was involved with this (guess what consituency is over-represented?). On this issue, also see Austin Contrarian's take for some good thoughts.

Second, this piece on affordable housing which at least makes the distinction between "single-family house" and "housing" which so many people fail to understand. My comment to that piece:

Once a city grows beyond a certain point, you have to be realistic that the core of the city probably isn't going to remain affordable, as long as you only define housing as single-family detached houses.

How many cities that aren't dying burgs or a sprawling hellholes have affordable single-family detached housing in their cores? I can't think of any; people grow up and realize that if you want to live central and don't have a lot of money, you live in a condo, a duplex, an apartment, a townhouse, a co-op, whatever.

At least Gregor pointed out condos here - that's a start. Mentioning that the McMansion Ordinance severely disincents existing and future duplexes and garage apartments would have been a welcome addition as well, though.

Good show, Chronicle. Also, folks should be sure to check out City Hall Hustle for Wells Dunbar's continuing series of in-depth interviews of mayoral candidates (well, he spends 10-20 minutes with them, which isn't THAT deep, but compared to the alternatives is practically BBC-like). Turns caricatures into characters.

This entry was posted in the following categories: Austin , PS: I am not a crackpot , This Week In The Chronicle , When Neighborhoods Go Bad


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I'm still trying to figure out "affordable waterfront propery". What kind of world does that exist in? Great that we've had it for so many years, but isn't that idea completely unrealistic?

Who wouldn't want a view of lady bird lake? How do we decide who wins that affordable property lottery?

Good comment. When the people I know discuss affordable housing, they mean they are looking for affordable single family. But affordable housing in a city policy kind of way almost has to mean multifamily, doesn't it, given the relatively high land costs central. I know to you development policy junkies that seems obvious, but to us less conversant with the issue, it is not immediately obvious. And I don't think it gets discussed explicitly in a way that clicks for those of us outside the City Hall groupie circles.

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