The triumph of the YIMBYs

Pols come and go. These reforms are permanent.

The triumph of the YIMBYs
The view of downtown from the third floor of the Long Center.

After listening to 14-and-a-half hours of public testimony at 1 a.m. on Friday morning, City Council members recessed for ten hours and returned to the dais at 11 a.m. to quickly approved a raft of major zoning changes that would have been unfathomable only two years earlier.

After years of watching Councils try and fail to pass far more modest improvements to Austin's backwards land development code, it's hard to process the magnitude of the changes passed on Friday. The whole thing is surreal.

And knock on wood, of course. As I'll discuss below, one should never rule out a legal challenge to anything good that happens in this town.

But let's review...

Minimizing the minimum

Austin's minimum lot size for been reduced from 5,750 sq ft to 1,800 sq ft.

The latter figure was a compromise proposed by Mayor Kirk Watson –– in between the 2,000 minimum proposed by city staff and the 1,500 minimum endorsed by the Planning Commission. This means that, at least in theory, even the smallest single-family lots in Austin can be divided into three new lots, although each of those will be limited to one unit and subject to the 45% impervious cover limit.