Thursday, February 9, 2017
Are the DIRTIEST aspects of local Austin politics going statewide?!?
"Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?"
Meet HB 1175 by Hinojosa:
This is the Grove exported statewide, and that's a threat to property rights that should make every Texan shudder.
For those who don't follow the ins and outs of City of Austin land use battles, the Grove was a (recently concluded) two-year saga to build new housing on a gigantic empty lot one block away from a major highway. In a city that needs to build 150,000 new housing units, existing homeowners colluded with anti-growth politicians to use every disingenuous excuse in the book to prevent residential construction on a gigantic empty lot. As we detailed last fall, welcome to 'neighborhood association' politics: "existing residents buy homes in destination cities, and then utilize land-use regulations and anti-growth public officials to prevent new construction."
And creating new land use regulations at the state level threatens the property rights of every Texan.
Now who, pray tell, is the Austin Neighborhoods Council?!?
The Austin Neighborhoods Council is a protectionist anti-property rights organization that unfortunately dominates politics in this town. While they attempt to obfuscate with vague rhetoric, their primary function is to keep Central Austin 'safe' for rich white liberals by making it prohibitively expensive for Black or Hispanic families (or anyone under age 50) to live there. On a semi-related note, ANC's actions to make it impossible to build in central Austin also plays a big role in why Austin traffic has become such a nightmare.
And, apparently, Gina Hinojosa is ANC's lady in the Texas Legislature.
And this bill, if it passes, will give your neighbors a veto over anything you want to build on your property...unless you can get three quarters of the relevant city council to support your position (which is impossible).
Bottom Line: If you want to make the rest of Texas more like Austin, HB 1175 would be a good place to start.