Austin’s proposed land development code revisions won't include allowing RVs on single-family lots.
That's the word from the City Council, which last month approved a resolution to initiate changes that would allow tiny homes and RVs as accessory dwelling units in single-family zoning districts and directed the city manager to propose the changes to the Land Development Code and bring an ordinance for it to review and adopt by November 30.
An October 25 memo from city development services director José Roig expressed concern about allowing RVs in the mix after his department determined that the they're considered vehicles, not living units, by federal law and are therefore not regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Based on its definition of an RV — which it defines as a structure "built on a single chassis; 400 square feet or less when measured at their largest horizontal projections; self-propelled or permanently towable by a light duty truck; and designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use" — HUD leaves that oversight to state and local auithorities.
Roig’s memo says RVs are regulated by the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration but are not subject to building codes and that city staff needs "to further assess federal and state regulations and how they are represented in RV manufacturer specifications” so that the city can regulate them as permanent dwellings. He also said that the department needs to work with the fire department, Austin Energy and Austin Water to make recommendations.
City staff members recommended moving forward with including tiny homes in its upcoming discussion of revisions that would allow up to three dwellings on single-family lots and postponing inclusion of RVs in those revisions.