Leander City Council alters regulations on street-facing garages during first meeting of 2018

Leander City Council discussed amending its composite zoning ordinance to allow for street-facing garages with three bay doors in certain use components during two meetings in December and January.n

Leander City Council discussed amending its composite zoning ordinance to allow for street-facing garages with three bay doors in certain use components during two meetings in December and January.n

Leander City Council opted Thursday night to alter a regulation that was put in place on its composite zoning ordinance last spring.

During two meetings in December and January, City Council discussed amending the ordinance to allow for street-facing garages with three bay doors in certain uses.

In March, City Council approved several amendments to the composite zoning ordinance, which determines land and building uses on a given property as well as which materials can be used in its construction. One of the amendments restricted street-facing garages with three bays in three uses: single-family compact, single-family urban and single-family suburban.

Since then, several realtors and representatives with the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin requested the city amend its ordinance, citing a market desire for street-facing garages with three bays from consumers. The regulations would increase home costs, they claimed.

“Leander will continue to see growth, and I urge you to keep this type of housing product on the market to help accommodate that future growth,” said David Glenn, the director of government affairs with the homebuilders association, during a Dec. 21 meeting.

Council Member Shanan Shepherd proposed an amendment to the ordinance that would allow for street-facing garages with three bay doors in the single-family urban and single-family suburban use components on lot widths that are 60 feet wide and greater. The ordinance continues to limit the number of bay doors to two in the single-family compact use component.

Leander Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended denial of amending the ordinance at a November meeting, though City Council approved the amendment at a vote of 6-1 during the Dec. 21 meeting.

“My goal [in proposing the amendment] was, in keeping with the intent of the ordinance, I think as long as we restrict the front of the property to be no more than 50 percent garage door, then we still achieve what the intent [of the ordinance] was,” Shepherd said at the Dec. 21 meeting.

City Council gave a final approval of the amendment during a Jan. 4 meeting at a vote of 6-1, with Council Member Ron Abruzzese voting against.


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