Comment of the Day: Minimum Lot Size Ordinance Exit Strategy

COMMENT OF THE DAY: MINIMUM LOT SIZE ORDINANCE EXIT STRATEGY “. . . The future of the minimum ordinances will depend on the individual blocks when the ordinances themselves expire. A few of my neighbors are planning for their retirement as soon as their ordinances expire with several options: duplexing their house with a garage apartment for rental income or selling out to condo builders as a last laugh for the looming McMansions next to them. If I don’t think my block will re-up our ordinances, I’ll be sure to sell out before the vultures start circling.” [Studes Second, commenting on Where Houston’s Lot-Size Restrictions Went, Year by Year]

One Comment

  • Thanks to all for your comments and discussion regarding the MLS maps I made. One of the most interesting unresolved questions, touched on in some of the comments, is what the property value impacts are of allowing SF neighborhoods to densify with townhomes. One line of thought is that by preserving the existing character and adding predictability, MLS and deed restrictions (and SF zoning too) will enhance values. The other argument is that if developers can split the lots, they would be able to outbid buyers who are only in search of a SF home because of the profit margin they can generate on each unit. Thus, if the latter case is true, limiting the purchasers to just those interested in SF homes would harm values. I’m very interested in working up a study on this topic but have had supreme difficulty in obtaining the necessary property sales price data because of TX’s non-disclosure status. I’m aware that Realtors have access to such data through MLS. Does anyone know how a database of sale price values could be accessed for research purposes of this sort? If so, please feel free to e-mail me at Thanks!