May 2, 2019

HBA Talks to Community Impact About Atlas 14

As the new watershed protection ordinance moves forward as a result of Atlas 14, HBA members and staff sat down with Community Impact to discuss the impact on development across the city. 

According to Foster, many in the development community believe the pending regulations could “ruin” building in Austin.

Although Foster said she appreciates the city’s efforts to educate the community about the upcoming changes, the new regulations—such as upgrading storm infrastructure to bigger pipes and on-site detention ponds on commercial projects to raising new homes 2 feet above the floodplain—will add costs for both the homebuyers and sellers.

David Glenn, director of government affairs with the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin, said the cost associated with requiring new construction to be raised 2 feet above the flood plain could run up to a few thousand dollars, which will trickle down to the listing price. Building an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, on a property and renting it out is a key way for both homeowners and renters to fight affordability challenges. However, the proposed density moratorium would prohibit ADU construction in the flood plains.

“We understand it’s a good effort and you’re trying to protect the area, but you have to look at the bigger picture and realize how this death by 1,000 cuts is killing affordability,” Glenn said. “Austinites love their things—trees, creeks, et cetera. The problem is, they don’t have a clear vision of what the top priority is. What is the thing that Austin needs to sacrifice the most for? We think that’s affordability.”

You can read the article in its entirety by clicking here:  https://communityimpact.com/austin/editors-pick/2019/04/23/new-atlas-14-data-shows-thousands-more-structures-at-risk-of-flooding-in-austin/ s

For more information, contact David Glenn, Director of Government Relations and Policy at david@hbaaustin.com.