So, What Did the Council Actually Say About Rewriting the Land Code?

City Hall releases "policy guidance" memo for the land code revision

So, What Did the Council Actually Say About Rewriting the Land Code?
photo by John Anderson

Even as the Austin City Council concluded its laborious efforts to provide "policy guidance" on Land Development Code revision – The Process Formerly Known as CodeNEXT – the actual document remained unfinished. Now, we can share with you the "as adopted 5/2/19" version of this 18-page memo.

To recap: CodeNEXT ground to a halt in August 2018 after months of increasing ill feeling over its direction, and Council asked City Manager Spencer Cronk to "develop and propose a new process leading to a Land Development Code that achieves the stated goals of the City," as expressed in the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan and its progeny.

On March 15 of this year, Cronk asked Council for "policy guidance" in the form of five questions regarding the scope of the code revision (and its accompanying zoning map); the desired housing capacity enabled by the new code; and how NextCodeNEXT should address "missing middle" housing types (larger than duplexes, smaller than apartment complexes), "compatibility standards" (height and setback limits on new development near single-family housing), and parking requirements.

Since then, Council has, at meetings and worksessions and on its message board, deliberated over language that effectively sets the guiding principles that will inform the drafting of the new land development code, the first fruits of which will return to the dais for consideration this fall. Late in the evening of May 2, they reached a stopping point; the document you'll find here is the cleaned-up version of Council's real-time wordsmithing. As we continue our years-long journey to a new land code, this document will be referred to time and time again, we're sure.

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at austinchronicle.com/opinion.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More CodeNEXT
Mayor Calls for End to CodeNEXT
Mayor Calls for End to CodeNEXT
"Divisive and poisoned" zoning rewrite now in real jeopardy

Sarah Marloff, Aug. 1, 2018

Austin Will Vote on CodeNEXT Petition in November
Austin Will Vote on CodeNEXT Petition in November
Ruling forces quasi-referendum on land use rewrite

Chase Hoffberger, July 16, 2018

More by Mike Clark-Madison
Central Health, Ascension Take Each Other to Court
Central Health, Ascension Take Each Other to Court
Each claims the other is breaching their contract

Jan. 27, 2023

Austin at Large: Not Fixing What’s Broken
Austin at Large: Not Fixing What’s Broken
Abbott, Patrick engage in disingenuous property tax politics, while Texas suffers

Jan. 27, 2023

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Land Development Code, CodeNEXT, policy guidance, CodeCRONK, NextCodeNEXT

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle