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January 7, 2019
2016 Policy Issue Victories:
- Leander Masonry Ordinance
The HBA and several members successfully pushed back against proposed amendments that would’ve severely restricted the use of stucco as a building material. Thanks to our efforts, Leander City Council rejected the original proposal and directed staff to go back to the drawing board and use our feedback as the starting point.
- Austin Volume Builder Program
For several years, the City of Austin’s Volume Builder Program had fallen to the wayside and was nearly non-existent. Working with several of our members, a revamped version of this program was developed and then tested in a small pilot program. After several weeks of testing and seeing drastic improvements in wait times and processing, we jointly rolled out the new program to our Volume Builders with the City of Austin.
- Bastrop Subdivision Regulations
As development continues to push out east of I-35, the HBA was appointed to a Bastrop County Task force to re-write and update the County’s subdivision regulations which had not been updated in over 10 years. Using the technical expertise from our members, the HBA was a key voice in the update which will make future development in Bastrop easier, and more efficient.
- Travis PID Task Force
The HBA was also appointed to a Travis County task force to examine additional labor requirements on Public Improvement Districts (PIDs). These new requirements are being pushed by the Workers Defense Project who’s Better Builder Program requirements add significant costs and barriers to development, while ignoring common industry practices and free-market enterprise. The task force ultimately voted to recommend (with the HBA and other industry orgs opposing) these new requirements on PID projects, but the HBA was successful at getting residential projects exempt.
- Preservation of Infill Building
Throughout the year, the City of Austin made several attempts at restricting certain types of infill building by removing tools needed to build infill product. The HBA was successful in shutting down a proposed change to the Garage and FAR requirements and managed to get “no” votes at Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. Later in the year, the HBA was also able to halt the addition of several new requirements for demolition permits and historic zoning.
- Electing the Right Candidates
One of the most critical aspects to our advocacy successes is ensuring that candidates who understand our industry are elected to office. This year HomePAC spent over $45,000 to make sure that our voice is present in the elected offices throughout our area.