Action Required on Harris Avenue Stealth Dorms
The City has approved building permits for the duplex buildings at 720 and 722 Harris Ave, and construction has already started. The duplex building at 718 Harris is substantially complete, but no leasing sign has been posted. This is effectively an 18-bedroom multifamily project in a single family neighborhood. The City has not required Cutsinger and Cole to change the parking configuration: a total of 18 spaces on-site accessed from the alley.
Neighbors and parents of Lee Elementary children are most anxious about the potential safety threat if these 3 buildings become occupied by 18 or more unsupervised students. In the past, the developers have indicated that they would prefer to lease to families or professionals and that they welcome referrals from the Lee community. I urge everyone to write Kevin Cutsinger and Ross Cole and ask that they do the right thing by way of their new neighbors and seek tenants who will enhance our safety and quality of life. If you know of anyone looking for a rental duplex in the Lee School zone, please send them to Cutsinger and Cole. From the outside, the buildings appear to be well-designed — although I would not have chosen the colors.
The developers are:
Mr. Kevin Cutsinger: firstname.lastname@example.org;
1979 CR 200
Liberty Hill, TX 78642, and
Mr. Ross Cole:
502 West 30th Street, Austin, TX 78705
“Stealth Dorms Move in and Families Move Out.” This was the headline of a recent article in the Texas Tribune on the negative impacts of these structures on single family neighborhoods. The Tribune editors get it. Though we could not stop the Harris Avenue duplexes, the central/north central Austin coalition against dorm-style housing in single family neighborhoods continues to work with city officials, the Planning Commission and City Council to reduce duplex occupancy limits from six to four and/or other measures which will prevent developers from scraping off affordable single family homes in Central/North Central neighborhoods and replacing them with this type of development.