The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

12 February 2006

Yard? What yard?

The City Council of Austin, Texas has taken steps to discourage McMansions.

Under the Council's temporary rules, which will be reviewed later this week but which are legally in effect already, builders wishing to tear down and rebuild homes can choose the largest of the following:

  • 2500 square feet
  • 20 percent space increase
  • 0.4 ratio of home size to lot size

These rules are in effect for 120 days; the Council is expected to come up with permanent rules in the spring.

I'm trying to imagine my modest little wedge of land — 11,000 square feet, just over a quarter-acre — with a 4400-square foot faux château sitting on it.

(Via Daily Pundit.)

Posted at 7:25 AM to Dyssynergy

Is that total interior "gross living area," or footprint?

Make it three stories and you could have 13,200 square feet -- if it's footprint.

Posted by: McGehee at 12:51 PM on 12 February 2006

I got a worksheet from the West Austin Neighborhood Group which was apparently prepared for City Council, listing possible actions that could be taken.

On a lot zoned SF-3 of 10,000 square feet, assuming 15 percent is used for driveways and sidewalks, you could, according to this particular proposal, build a 9,000-square-foot, three-story (maximum height 35 feet) house.

This suggests that they're thinking in terms of footprint, especially since they define a Floor Area Ratio, which would presumably demand such.

Posted by: CGHill at 1:12 PM on 12 February 2006

9,000 Square feet?! For how many people? Wow.

Of course, if you don't want to live by the strictures of the DPRA, I know of dozens of suburban subdivisions just on the west side of Austin that would welcome your brand new McMansion.

Posted by: Dan at 9:16 PM on 12 February 2006

Not for me, thanks. I have enough to do cleaning up my little dollhouse on the prairie.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:25 PM on 12 February 2006