August 16, 2018

HBA of Greater Austin Responds to the Bastrop Development Moratorium

At a time when demand for housing is far exceeding supply, the homebuilding community was caught off guard by the Bastrop City Council’s vote to impose a development moratorium. 

“As an ongoing stakeholder with the city and county, the HBA was surprised there was no prior outreach to members of the building and development community prior to Tuesday’s decision,” states Emily Blair, CEO of the HBA of Greater Austin.

The HBA encourages the city to seek public and stakeholders input on key policy items that will impact Bastrop’s economy and the families looking for an affordable home in the area. A successful land development code process must include ample opportunity for the development community to provide feedback throughout the process. Furthermore, the Bastrop development moratorium is unnecessary in order to accomplish the council’s goal of re-examining the code. Many cities have undertaken code rewrites without issuing a moratorium, which would inflate the selling price of housing units once they finally reach the market. Many projects in earlier stages of planning, for which significant resources have already been invested, simply never move forward due to the moratorium. A development moratorium limits supply and worsens our housing affordability problems.

“They have stopped everything,” said Lee Whitaker of Pacesetter Homes and President of the HBA. “We have funding at the bank and we can’t get a permit.”

We hope that the city will hold firm on the 90 day limit; without a managed process, this could easily extend well beyond 90 days. The HBA of Greater Austin is ready and able to provide feedback and assist the city with this important task in order to end the moratorium as soon as possible and help achieve the land development code goals for the community of Bastrop.

Since 1953, the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin has served as the leading not-for-profit trade organization dedicated to residential construction and remodeling in Central Texas. Representing nearly 700 residential home builders and suppliers, the mission of the HBA of Greater Austin is to advance the practice and professionalism of the home building industry in our community. We work with government, public, business and community organizations in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Lee, Travis and Williamson Counties.