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Shared housing ordinance

2,357 Views | 26 Replies | Last: 1 hr ago by Brian Alg
Brian Alg
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[Edit: TL;DR (that means "Cliff's Notes"): If I am reading this right, College Station is fixing to pass some dangerous stuff]

I just realized the College Station City Council is intending to pass this on Thursday. Starting at page 740
here


It looks like the proposal would make it possible for the city ("the Administrator") to outlaw anything matching two or more of the following criteria unless it is zoned multi-family or one of the Northgate zones:

A dwelling unit containing more than four bedrooms or able to house more than four people using other rooms such as dens, offices, game rooms, or alike that have the potential to be used for sleeping purposes in accordance with the International Residential Code (IRC) definition of habitable space;

A dwelling unit containing a similar bedroom to bathroom parity in excess of four;

A dwelling unit containing a high quantity of bathrooms, usually in excess of four, of which most can only be accessed through a bedroom or other room such as a den, office, or game room;

A dwelling unit that is in excess of one story;

The property where the dwelling unit is located does not contain a garage;

The property where the dwelling unit is located contains a parking area that will allow parking in excess of four vehicles; and/or

The property where the dwelling unit is located is within two (2) miles of a campus of higher education.


I dig this is intended to target students, poor people, and the like. But could this also be used to outlaw most of the houses being built in neighborhoods like Castlegate? It seems to make it so that the city, if it wanted to, could stop someone from building
- a 2 story home within 2 miles of campus, or
- a 2 story home with 4 bedrooms and a den in *any* neighborhood in the city, or
- a 4 bedroom home with a den, a 2 car garage, and enough of a driveway to park 3 more cars in *any* neighborhood in the city,
- etc.

This appears to be a dangerous ordinance.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
Brian Alg
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If the "Administrator" doesn't like you, decides he doesn't like your house, or has any other reason to deny your permit, if it matches any 2 of these criteria, he can block it. The only recourse you'd have is to get some kind of a waiver from the zoning board of adjustments (which is a giant PITA if you can even get it done).

This is preposterously ripe for abuse. It is insane to me that anyone could hate students enough to create a weapon this dangerous. It's some one ring stuff. Insanity
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
woodiewood1
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So my 5 bedroom/5 bathroom that is a two story is considered a multi-family dwelling and they can stop it from being built? Or a dwelling with 5 bedrooms/5 bathrooms and has a carport rather than a garage is a multi-family dwelling?

What moron came up with those guidelines?

Brian Alg
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The "Administrator" could have determined that it is likely going to be used for "Shared Housing" and block construction during the permitting process if your wife was mean to his at bunko or something

But it is not as thought they could fine you for what is already built.

But if you wanted to do an add-on, finish out the attic, or do anything else that required a permit from him he could put you over a barrel



The city staff under Michael Ostrowski put it together. It was unanimously approved by the P&Z commission (including council candidate Wright)
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
AndesAg92
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AG
I feel like that is geared towards stopping Ag Shacks etc from building a 5/5 two story with a game room and having tons of cars having to park on the street in the historic district etc. just my 2 cents. Essentially capping the new builds to 4 bedroom for crappy construction student houses
Stucco
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From KBTX: Housing and zoning takes center stage at College Station City Council meeting (kbtx.com)


Quote:

Shared housing use was also up for debate but in a slightly different way.
After a public hearing, the council postponed taking a vote to create new zoning called shared housing. That proposal, if adopted, would let more than four unrelated people live together, like in an "Aggie shack" or stealth dorm that could be allowed to be developed in single-family residential neighborhoods. If adopted, that zoning would only be allowed in select areas of the city.

Several community members spoke out against the new zoning during the public hearing saying the proposal as written is too vague.
College Station city leaders plan to call a special meeting to meet with stakeholders to fine-tune the proposal and will hold another discussion and possible vote during the next council meeting on Oct.
AgTrip
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AndesAg92 said:

I feel like that is geared towards stopping Ag Shacks etc from building a 5/5 two story with a game room and having tons of cars having to park on the street in the historic district etc. just my 2 cents. Essentially capping the new builds to 4 bedroom for crappy construction student houses


If people build them and they're rented...more power to them. There is a need and a want. I expect student type housing around a university the size of Texas A&M. I'll chose not to live in that area but still don't mind student neighborhoods. Not a fan of these restrictions.
Scruffy
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AG
Shouldn't LULAC be against this like they were in Flower Mound?
maroon barchetta
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They do need adequate parking though. A fire truck couldn't make it down some of those Ag Shack streets.
taxpreparer
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AG
Ban street parking in those areas if that is the problem. They did it on Munson where there were very few rentals.
Hornbeck
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Let's be real honest, they are targeting certain developers that aren't their donors / buddies in favor of those that are. The "stakeholders" are the folks building high rise housing.
AndesAg92
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AG
AgTrip said:

AndesAg92 said:

I feel like that is geared towards stopping Ag Shacks etc from building a 5/5 two story with a game room and having tons of cars having to park on the street in the historic district etc. just my 2 cents. Essentially capping the new builds to 4 bedroom for crappy construction student houses


If people build them and they're rented...more power to them. There is a need and a want. I expect student type housing around a university the size of Texas A&M. I'll chose not to live in that area but still don't mind student neighborhoods. Not a fan of these restrictions.


I completely agree. Just giving my thoughts on where the city staff is prob thinking.

I have a large feeling there is a huge movement/petition amongst the homeowners in the historic district that are getting lots of coffees and breakfasts with city employees/council members/powers that be about this issue.

I don't live in the Brazos valley. I just think it's easy to see it from the outside looking in.
Stupe
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S
Hornbeck said:

Let's be real honest, they are targeting certain developers that aren't their donors / buddies in favor of those that are. The "stakeholders" are the folks building high rise housing.
If we are being "honest", what developers are you talking about?

Which developers are getting preferential treatment.
Which developers are getting targeted?

By name.

To be clear, I have nothing to do with construction, real estate, or rentals.

I just always see or hear allegations like this, but nobody ever says a name. It's just like when people say "follow the money trail" but can never say where the money trail starts or ends.

It's humorous.
AndesAg92
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AG
[Feel free to give your opinion but we require posters to be respectful when posting on this forum. -Staff]
Hornbeck
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[Feel free to give your opinion but we require posters to be respectful when posting on this forum. -Staff]
Hornbeck
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I had a name, staff took the post down.

If you did not catch it, sorry. Not going to catch a ban for you, Stupe, just to be clear.
Stupe
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S
I saw your post and the one that you made to another poster. I don't bother with responding to posts like those on here. I just flag them and move on.

I agree with the staff edits. I don't read or respond on this board to get a bunch of smart --- remarks. That' what the F16 board is for.
Stupe
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S
You're saying that TM5 properties gets preferential treatment? And others are shut out?
Smeghead4761
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It's in Bryan, not CS, but it occurs to me that a whole lot of the golf course houses in Miramont would run afoul of this.

- more than 4 bedrooms or 'sleepable' rooms
- two stories
- driveway parking that can fit 4 or more cars
-
Hornbeck
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Stupe said:

You're saying that TM5 properties gets preferential treatment? And others are shut out?


So why did you keep editing your previous post demanding a name? Seems a little obtuse.

And, no, I'm not saying that.
Would seem to me that a person building a lot of AgShacks would have his business hurt by this proposal. Others building high rises and luxury complexes, not so much.
Stupe
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S
I edited to clarify that I had no skin in the construction or real estate game. I really couldn't care who gets what contract.

I'm not "demanding" anything. I explained why I was asking, but I'll repeat it.

I just always see or hear allegations like this, but nobody ever says a name. It's just like when people say "follow the money trail" but can never say where the money trail starts or ends.

It's humorous to me that people are so quick to throw out allegations illegal practices, but rarely have anything to substantiate the claims. "Somebody is getting paid", "Follow the money", "Look at their friends", "Look who gets contracts". Always vague.
It's easy to throw those out there at city or state officials when there doesn't have to be substance to it.

For the record, I'm not a fan or defender of the City Counsel. I hope that Crompton and Mahoney are both gone as soon as possible.


And you did insinuate TM5 in one of your posts when you capitalized only those two letters in one of your sentences. That's why I asked.

I'm not sure how any of that is obtuse.

Stupe
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S
You also said something about growth and poor planning. That I agree with.
Smeghead4761
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It's obvious that the driver for all of this is the constant growth in the student population (which at roughly 17% over the last decade, is roughly in line with the state's population growth). and the fact that those students do have to live somewhere.

It's also obvious, at least to me, that nobody has really figured out a solution that doesn't make at least some of the people who live and work here quite upset.

You can:
-build giant sprawling apartment/townhome complexes a good distance from campus, which causes traffic problems getting to campus, and parking problems once they get there, or
-build ginormous high rise apartment buildings in Northgate, which are big eyesores, and the foot/bicycle/Veo scooter traffic from which brings University Drive to a complete standstill for about 1 minute out of 5 so they can all get across the street, or
- allow the piecemeal infiltration of Ag Shacks/stealth dorms into neighborhoods near campus that were originally built as single family homes, leading to problems with street parking and the general unpleasantness of living near college students in high concentrations. and ruining the 'character' of the neighborhoods for the residents still living there.

The University has even added on campus housing (Park West, White Creek, and Hullabaloo Hall), which hasn't been enough to help the problem much.

Personally, I blame the "Top 10%" admission rule, for forcing the University to grow at a rate faster than the surrounding community is prepared to absorb. (Actually, given the state's population growth, from 25.1m in the 2010 census to 29.1m in the 2020, I don't think any of the state universities and colleges, or thier surrounding communities, are really prepared to absorb the numbers generated by any plan which guarantees admission for some fixed % of each year's high school graduates.)
Hornbeck
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I would argue that the guy at the top of the TAMU system is a big source of driving the growth, as compared to theTop 10% rule. It was one of his stated vision goals, and let's not forget RELLIS, which adds yet even more students in the mix.
Smeghead4761
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Smeghead4761
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Well, that was stupid...anyway.

Sharp, and his acolyte, Banks.

Personally, as an alumnus and non-faculty employee, I say screw size, go for quality. Aim for science and engineering departments that equal, then surpass MIT, CalTech, or whomever is at the top of the heap. And in petroleum engineering, A&M should not just be the best, we should lap the field. This is Texas, after all.
Brian Alg
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To highlight the danger of the proposed ordinance, here is a clip of Mr. Maloney of College Station's city council telling the Director of Planning and Development that a "4 bedroom plus lifestyle is completely incompatible with single family housing."



It probably isn't a coincidence that the proposed ordinance gives that Director the power to block construction permits for most 4 bedroom houses in single family zones.

In the thread, many are presuming the proposed ordinance is meant to make it more difficult for people with low incomes to live in single family zoned areas, especially near campus. And for sure that is the primary way it is being sold. But one side effect is that it will give the city the ability to block construction of most houses. And for some that appears to be a feature not a bug.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
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