Austin Reduces Minimum Lot Size

Smaller lot sizes for single-family homes can make construction more affordable and homeownership available to more households.

1 minute read

May 21, 2024, 10:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Texas Townhomes

Townhomes in Austin, Texas. | Tricia Danie / Shutterstock

The Austin City Council voted to reduce the city’s minimum lot size for single-family homes as part of its effort to make housing construction more affordable and encourage gentle density increases. As Joshua Fechter notes in The Texas Tribune, the new lot size rule reduces minimum lot size from 5,750 square feet to 1,800 square feet. “The council also voted to allow apartment buildings to be built closer to single-family homes and denser development along a planned light-rail line,” acknowledging that successful transit and housing density go hand in hand.

As Austin housing prices skyrocketed during the pandemic, city officials found themselves able to push through more housing reforms than were possible before. A reform package dubbed “Home Options for Mobility and Equity” (HOME) makes significant zoning changes to encourage housing production, but “Resistance to the reforms runs deep among some neighborhood groups, anti-gentrification activists and the city’s old guard of environmentalists, all of whom have long opposed efforts to boost Austin’s overall housing density.”

Friday, May 17, 2024 in The Texas Tribune

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