Austin Contrarian discusses an article that describes how Seattle has become less affordable in recent years. He prescribes a recipe for Austin to become what he calls a “Superstar City” such as New York, Boston, San Francisco, or Seattle. By “Superstar City”, I assume he means an ultra-hip place where housing prices rise rapidly, NIMBY activism grows, and development is restricted, making it even less affordable for many, except the wealthy and subsidized. The agenda would work for any city:
Here’s the agenda I’d propose for propelling Austin into the “Superstar City” pantheon: (1) discourage the construction of traditionally affordable housing like garage apartments and duplexes; (2) restrict the amount of land available for multi-family housing; (3) strictly limit multi-family density; (4) limit the construction of upscale condos and townhomes in order to force affluent homebuyers to compete for the scarce supply of close-in housing; (5) ban small-lot and “urban home” zoning; (6) require property owners/developers who build dense developments to shoulder the financial burden for things like affordable housing, parks and infrastructure; and (7) impose onerous design standards to increase the cost of new construction.
We can call it the “progressive” agenda. We’ll be in the superstar ranks in no time.
Austin Contrarian: Sound familiar?