Controversial homeless shelter not in compliance with Austin guidelines

A neighboring business owner is accusing the City of Austin of not following guidelines for renovations on a controversial homeless shelter.

Pecan Gardens in Northwest Austin is expected to eventually house homeless people ages 55 or older. However, the city's paint job on the building apparently does not meet the guidelines in the restrictive covenants for the area.

"Throughout the Pecan Park subdivision, the restrictive covenant applies, so you see every single building in the Pecan Park subdivision. Each building is earthtone and has complied," says the owner of Homewood Suites and Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton, Rupal Chaudhari.

Rupal Chaudhari and her husband own the Homewood Suites and Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton in Northwest Austin.

They share the same driveway as the former Candlewood Suites, now turned into a multi-million-dollar homeless shelter for those 55 years of age and older. It was purchased by the city of Austin in 2021.

"Williamson County was opposing it, we were opposing it, but in spite of so much opposition, the city decided not to listen to the community and decided to buy the hotel and turn it into homeless housing," says Chaudhari.

According to the hotel owner, the city painted the future shelter in a teal blue accent color that goes around the building. It is the theme color for the nonprofit Family Eldercare that has taken over the property and named it Pecan Gardens.

"If you are going to use accent colors, it has to be limited quantity, not the way that they have wrapped the whole building in a teal color. It is violating the covenant they are not following, and it also blends in with our sign, our Homewood Suites sign hotel," says Chaudhari.


The restrictive covenants, nearly 80 pages long, state colors for building materials should be in the earthtone range.

"The restrictive covenant was filed back in the day, I believe in 1980. It applies to the whole Pecan Park subdivision. What is the purpose of having a covenant if the City of Austin decides not to follow its own? I mean those who are in charge of enforcing it are the ones violating it," says Chaudhari.

The City of Austin did release a statement saying, "It recently became aware of the restrictive covenants governing the paint color of buildings that apply to this property. In coordination with the operator of Pecan Gardens, Family Eldercare, the city is taking steps to rectify the situation by voluntarily comply with the permissible paint colors."

"They did offer a solution. They said they would only paint the front section of the building. My question to the city is, being a little sarcastic here, but is the building invisible from the other end?" says Chaudhari.