An urgent message forwarded by ONA president Kathryn Omarkhail:
of Fort Worth
We know we keep asking and we are sorry to do so but TWO BILLS STILL THREATEN SINGLE-FAMILY ZONING STATEWIDE
Please read below the consequences of these two bills. HB2789 will do away with single family zoning and HB3921 will ruin neighborhoods as well. And it is our thought that both bills could increase short term rentals because of their ADU's and mini-lots. Please call your House Representatives today. And please call your neighbors to do the same. None of us want these two bills.
HB 3921/SB1787 – The Mini-Lot Bill. The House ran out of time to consider its “mini-lot” bill (HB3921) last Thursday night, so we avoided this bill becoming law subject only to the Governor’s signature. BUT the Senate has already passed its version, SB1787. The House has until May 23rd to bring Senate bills to the House for a vote. This bill allows developers to build 31 units per acre *by right*. This means developers could build FIVE three-story homes on a 7500 sq ft residential lot without any notice to neighbors. This would radically increase population density, traffic, and noise. It would also drive up the value of the underlying land and, in turn, increase the property tax assessments of neighboring homeowners, potentially pricing them out of their homes.
HB 2789/ SB 1412 – the “ADU” Or Second Dwelling on Every Lot Bill
The House ran out of time to pass HB2789. So once again, we avoided this bill being passed into law last Thursday night. BUT the Senate approved a companion bill, SB1412, and it also could be taken up by the House for a vote through May 23. Like SB1787, this bill effectively eliminates single-family zoning with NO notice to current property owners, as you would normally get in a citywide zoning case. This bill will encourage developers and investors to buy up single-family residential homes, demolish them and build two units in their place. This will effectively eliminate single-family residential zoning and also drive up the property taxes of neighbors. A 2500 sq ft home could have a 1250 sq ft secondary unit.
And these are not “mother-in-law suites.” The bill does not require that the occupants of the second dwelling have any family relationship with the owner of the primary dwelling, and the owner of the primary unit may not be required by a city to reside there. Think purely commercial rentals of two homes on every lot instead of only one single-family home.
What Should Members of Your Chapter Do?
We are now in the final days of this more than four-month fight to save our neighborhoods.
So, NOW is the time for all chapter members to bear down and continue their calls/emails to attain final success.
Accordingly, Texas Neighborhood Coalition asks that you call, and if that is not possible e-mail, respective representative in the House promptly to urge them to oppose SB1787 and SB1412. A sample script is below:
I am one of your constituents. I vote in all federal, state, and local elections, including primaries. I am calling to strongly urge my representative to oppose anti-neighborhood bills, SB1787 and SB1412, if they are set for a vote. These two terrible bills must never become law because they would wreck single-family residential neighborhoods across the state.
If the longstanding single-family zoning safeguards for neighborhoods were ever voided by the state legislature, voters like me would certainly remember who mounted this assault on their neighborhoods on our next trip to the ballot box.