Subdividing Lots in Austin- What I learned about subdividing SF3 lots from the City of Austin’s Development Services Center
Today, I went to the City of Austin’s Development Service Center to see if a property my client is considering purchasing could be subdivided. I had already done preliminary research, and came to the center with a survey of the property and the knowledge that it’s zoned SF3. Anyone considering purchasing a property that they want to change should of course do their own research. However, I wanted to do a little due-diligence before I sent my client to the city to ask questions himself.
I was told that a lot can be subdivided as long as the new lots meet all of the lot requirements for that particular zoning. For an SF3 lot, that means the new lots must each have a minimum lot size of 5,750 square feet. For SF3 lots in the City of Austin, there are building setbacks. There are 15ft street side setbacks, 5 ft. interior side setbacks, and 10 ft. rear setbacks. In order to subdivide a lot, the new lots must also be at least 50 ft. wide at the 25 ft. front set back. If the width is less than 50 ft. wide, you can subdivide the property with one lot becoming a flag lot. Flag lots require a minimum lot width of 20ft or 15ft if two or more contiguous lots share a common driveway and there is room on the other sides of driveway for emergency/utility use.
Building on the newly subdivided lots must also conform with current regulations for City of Austin SF3 lots. The maximum building on the lot is 40%, and the maximum impervious coverage on the lot is 45%. The subdivision process for normal lots (minimum 50 ft. wide) takes about 3-6 months with the City of Austin. For flag lots it can take 6-9 months. Normal subdivision costs approximately $6-7K in city fees. The flag variance would cost an additional $4k. For any subdivision you will also need civil engineer drawings, and new surveys which would be an additional cost.
If there are any other unique site characteristics that would impede your ability to develop the site in accordance with city regulations such as steep slopes, drainage systems, trees, or existing non-compliant structures, you can request a variance through the City of Austin’s Board of Adjustment. This would entail additional fees and time.
If you’re wondering what you can do on a lot within the City of Austin, The City of Austin’s Development Services Department is a great place to start. You may also be interested in reading my article, What can one do on this property? Considering land characteristics, zoning, and restrictions. If you’re considering purchasing a property in Austin, contact me today. I’d be happy to walk you through the process.