An Imagine Austin Primer

For Immediate Release

AURA will host a press conference Tuesday, November 17 at 8:30 am at City Hall

November 17, 2015

Austin, Texas

AURA, an urbanist grassroots non-profit that works toward an Austin for Everyone, along with a diverse coalition of organizations strongly urge Austin City Council to adopt the draft ordinance on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)—known colloquially as granny flats, garage apartments, or backyard cottages.

This draft ordinance is the result of a lengthy, thorough process with numerous opportunities for public input from a wide variety of Austin citizens. Since June 6, 2014, when City Council passed the resolution directing the City Manager to produce a draft ordinance, the public input process has included:

  • Two public meetings to collect input, on September 18, 2014 and October 20, 2014
  • Three public hearings before the Planning and Neighborhoods Committee, on June 9, 2015; August 17, 2015; and September 21, 2015.
  • Public hearing before Planning Commission, on April 28, 2014.
  • Two public hearings before the Codes and Ordinances Subcommittee of the Planning Commission on February 5, 2015 and March 17, 2015.

“The data shows that backyard cottages are affordable, so we should build more of them,” says Eric Goff, an AURA Board member. “Austin’s Fair Housing Action Plan identifies limits on ADUs as a barrier to affirmatively furthering Fair Housing.”

In addition to the substantial public comment in favor of the changes, more than 1,000 Austinites have signed AURA’s petition urging Austin’s City Council to allow granny flats and other small houses everywhere in Austin.

“All eleven council members campaigned heavily on alleviating rapidly rising housing costs in Austin,” says Cory Brown, AURA member. “The proposed changes to allow more backyard cottages is a win across the board: renters and people with modest incomes get more housing options, while homeowners get another tool to offset their tax burden.”

Join us at City Hall on Tuesday, November 17 at 8:30 am as we show Austinites the broad coalition of support for backyard cottages as a tool to provide more housing options that benefit renters and homeowners citywide.

AURA is a grassroots urbanist organization focused on building an Austin for everyone by improving land use and transportation through policy analysis, public involvement, and political engagement.

Eric Goff, AURA Board Member,, 512-632-7013
Cory Brown, AURA Missing Middle Working Group,, 512-850-8467