"...CodeNEXT's delivery to City Council is now imminent; the body's deliberations begin with the first of two public hearings this week. And after six years, three drafts (well, three and a half), $8.5 million spent, and three project leads, too many people have cast off hope for the zoning project...."
"...If you’re here, it’s because you’ve sought out the full transcription of the Chronicle’s CodeNEXT conversation with Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo and Council Member Greg Casar, found below...."
"...If you live in Austin, chances are you’ve at least heard of CodeNEXT. Maybe you’ve seen lawn signs protesting it or been asked to sign a petition to put it on the ballot..."
"...CodeNEXT 3.0 is here. After five and a half years, $8 million spent, and an inordinate amount of speed bumps and hold-ups, the third and final draft of the city’s land development code rewrite was released this evening at City Hall...."
"...The dates are set. The CodeNEXT staff policy recommendation (a.k.a..."
"...The second draft of the city’s land use code rewrite is finally here. On Friday morning, Mayor Steve Adler, interim City Manager Elaine Hart, and CodeNEXT staff gathered reporters at City Hall to announce the version’s release, and urged Austinites to stay – or get – engaged with the rewrite process...."
"...A petition to put CodeNEXT on the November 2018 ballot for public vote was officially filed with the City Clerk on Thursday morning. [image-1-right]..."
"...City Hall’s ongoing CodeNEXT project – the rewrite of the land development code currently in Draft 2, and scheduled for a spring 2018 adoption – may not be solving all the city’s housing affordability problems, but it is providing plenty of work for planning consultants, especially if the work is extended beyond its nominal deadlines...."
"...This morning Austin City Clerk Jannette Goodall validated a petition on seeking to put CodeNEXT – and all future land use code rewrites – to a public vote, rather than allow City Council sole power in deciding whether or not this (or any) code overhaul gets adopted. [image-1-right]..."
"...In the latest in a series of personnel shifts, CodeNEXT project manager Jim Robertson accepted a job with the city of Boulder two weeks ago. The move came a month after the project's executive lead, Matt Lewis, resigned in the midst of an investigation into his professional conduct (see "CodeNEXT Chief Quits," June 16)..."
"...Austinites will vote on the CodeNEXT petition during the November election. This afternoon, Travis County District Judge Orlinda Naranjo ruled that the petition must be honored, in part because it is not yet known what the language of CodeNEXT will entail...."
"...The first of two public hearings on the CodeNEXT staff policy recommendation is this Saturday at the Dove Springs Recreation Center (5801 Ainez). [image-1-right]..."
"...City Council voted this afternoon to reject a petition that would have put the CodeNEXT zoning rewrite onto the November general election ballot. Members voted 6-4 against the resolution, a not-surprising tally, considering the factions on the dais...."
"...Land use commissioners met again on Tuesday to continue their marathon of meetings as CodeNEXT races toward an ambiguous finish line. The Planning Commission met first for a short consent agenda, during which Chair Stephen Oliver proposed two additional meetings, following the CodeNEXT public hearings on April 28 and May 1, meaning PC will meet every week in May to iron out Draft Three recommendations for City Council..."
"...Word is out: CodeNEXT draft three won’t arrive on Nov. 28..."
"...In another daytime meeting – adjournment at 4:44pm – City Council worked quickly through a fairly limited agenda, with only two Items that raised much agita on the dais: the extension of CodeNEXT contract with consultant firm Opticos Design, and the approval of the Visit Austin 2018 marketing plan and budget...."
"...A surprise departure at the city of Austin, as staff announced that Matt Lewis, who has been leading the development of the CodeNEXT overhaul of city planning ordinances, has resigned...."
"...By the time you read this, there's a good chance that the initiative known as CodeNEXT is dead. The unanticipated end to Austin's ambitious attempt to rewrite its land development code has raised more than a few eyebrows and elicited a good number of questions about what will happen in its wake...."
"...In case you haven't heard, Austin is rewriting its Land Development Code. CodeNEXT is the name for the ongoing process of writing, testing, discussing, and finalizing the new code...."
"...In a few days (perhaps by the time you read this), the second draft of the CodeNEXT rewrite will be released (www.austintexas.gov/codenext). On September 7, the day following a preview of Draft 2 by city staff and consultants to City Council, we sat down with Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo and District 4 Council Member Greg Casar, and invited a conversation about CodeNEXT, the direction of the land development code rewrite, and their hopes for the outcome of the process..."
"...If CodeNEXT were a Broadway musical (just imagine the pitch meeting), it would have closed in previews. The massive, years-long attempt to revise and update Austin's complex land development code of ordinances – tentatively scheduled for City Council approval next spring – was getting bad reviews even before the first draft was released, and the drumbeat hasn't stopped since the (partial) draft text was followed by the draft maps..."
"...The anti-CodeNEXT circus made a whistle-stop in my Windsor Park neighborhood over the weekend, in a Sunday afternoon "forum" titled "Decoding CodeNEXT." It was clear from the one-sided list of speakers on the hyperbolic mailer – bristling with fear-mongering phrases like "It was a Wonderful Life" and "bastardized new urbanism" – that the event would not try to provide a balanced or objective view of the city's land use code revision in progress. Nevertheless, I attended, in the hopes that I and my neighbors might at least learn something new about the specific arguments of CodeNEXT opponents, to answer the mailer's headline question: "How will CodeNEXT impact your neighborhood?" [inset-1-right]..."
"...What is CodeNEXT?..."
"...Mayor Steve Adler dropped an $8 million bombshell on CodeNEXT Wednesday afternoon with a post to City Council‘s online message board. In a long statement, in which Adler called the land use code rewrite process “so divisive and poisoned,” he asked his colleagues to consider killing CodeNEXT and directing City Manager Spencer Cronk to help create a new process that “will help us move forward together.“..."
"...The lawsuit was filed against the city by a group of anti-CodeNEXT citizens on June 1, following City Council's vote to not put the petition – which called for a waiting period and public vote on CodeNEXT (and all future comprehensive zoning rewrites) – to a public vote. However, the council members who voted against the petition did so with the intention of bringing about a lawsuit that would force a judge to weigh in on the petition's legality..."
"...Earlier this month, the Austin American-Statesman ran three full-page editorial pages, of council members answering a seven-item questionnaire about the CodeNEXT land development code rewrite effort. Taken as a whole, what's interesting about the answers is that, while the CMs have obvious strong differences on development issues in principle, they also agree on most all of the specifics...."
"...Austin may very well vote on CodeNEXT, but not yet. On Monday, Travis County District Judge Orlinda Naranjo ruled that the city must put the CodeNEXT petition on the upcoming November ballot..."
"...Two months have passed since City Council aborted CodeNEXT, the contentious six-year, $8.5 million rewrite of Austin's land development code. But the dust has yet to settle..."
"...What could be better than arguing about CodeNEXT for a few more months? Arguing about CodeNEXT for a few more years, of course!..."
"...A surprise leak has juiced up the drama surrounding the impending debut of CodeNEXT's first public working draft. Last Saturday, Jan..."
"...Mayor Steve Adler dropped an $8 million bombshell on CodeNEXT Wednesday afternoon when he suggested on City Council's online message board that he and his colleagues scrap the land use rewrite and start over. Adler called the ongoing process "so divisive and poisoned," and suggested directing City Manager Spencer Cronk to help create a new process that "will help us move forward together."..."
"...PC Chair Stephen Oliver had hoped Wednesday's meeting would focus on CodeNEXT maps, but despite eight hours of work on Monday, commissioners still had not finished their deliberations on the zoning section of the code's text (and mapping ended up getting pushed back). Commissioners spent that meeting addressing floor area ratio restrictions, whether bars can be built under the proposed Main Street zones, and Conor Kenny's anti-McMansion ordinance, which passed 12-1 and would reduce single-family lot sizes, with the intent to slow demolition and incentivize smaller, more affordable development..."
"...In by far the busiest week yet on the CodeNEXT front:..."
"...While the latest draft of the CodeNEXT land development code at least tries to create some affordable housing for people who make 60-80% of the median family income ($81,400 a year for a family of four), Austin residents who fall below that figure will find little solace in the proposed rewrite. "CodeNEXT is not going to take care of housing for all income levels," confirmed Greg Guernsey, the executive project lead, in March..."
"...It's been a busy week for the city's Planning Commission: a special called CodeNEXT meeting last Thursday, plus a regular meeting Tuesday that briefly dove back into Thursday's discussion. This week, attention turns to the developing Austin Strategic Mobility Plan and Capital Metro's like-minded projects, and how they both might play along with the new code...."
"...No news is good news, unless that pertains to what's happening next with CodeNEXT. The third and final draft was originally promised for release on Nov..."
"...Draft two of CodeNEXT has been out for less than a week, and already the re-rewrite is causing rifts between city groups and neighborhood associations. Yet everyone, from Mayor Steve Adler to code consultants and city staff responsible for the land use code overhaul, continues to reiterate much of the same messaging: CodeNEXT, through all its faults, remains a work in progress...."
"...This week, the folks driving Austin's land development code rewrite, CodeNEXT, have hosted a series of open house events at the Linc, 6406 N. I-35..."
"...The lawsuit was filed against the City by a group of anti-CodeNEXT community members on June 1, following City Council’s vote to not put the petition – which called for a waiting period and public vote on CodeNEXT (and all future comprehensive zoning rewrites) – to a public vote. However, the five council members and Mayor Steve Adler who voted against the petition did so with the intention of bringing about a lawsuit that would force a judge to weigh in on the petition’s legality..."
"...You can no longer ignore CodeNEXT. Trust me, I've tried..."
"...City staff remains on track to release the final draft of CodeNEXT on Monday, Feb. 12, but as that unveiling nears, tensions are once again rising among those most invested in its composition..."
"...When CodeNEXT staff released the first draft of the new land development code in January, they set a June 7 deadline for public comment to be incorporated into the second draft. A week after that deadline, reports are still trickling in from community groups and city commissions...."
"...Despite the mayor's call to end CodeNEXT, and expectations that City Council could vote on such a proposal as soon as Aug. 9, the work for now continues..."
"...CodeNEXT, the city's massive rewrite of its 30-year-old land development code, had one helluva year. Though the endeavor began in 2012, the first draft of the new LDC wasn't unveiled until late last January, two weeks after a partial leak stirred fears about how to best marry Austin's need for more housing with its attempts to stall gentrification and simultaneously preserve existing neighborhoods..."
"...CodeNEXT shortcomings seem to generate an unending chatter, but on Monday, Austin Independent School District trustees passed a resolution relating to the impending land use rewrite without so much as a single word. The resolution sends 13 recommendations to city staff concerning how the rewrite can better support AISD's students, family, and staff, emphasizing opportunities for affordable, family-friendly, and "workforce" housing throughout Austin to support the district's goal of promoting what AISD Planning Services Manager Melissa Laursen describes as "diverse, inclusive schools and neighborhoods where people of all backgrounds, races, and income levels have the opportunity to safely learn, work, and live."..."
"...The Planning and Zoning & Platting commissions received a rapid preview of CodeNEXT Draft 2.0 (to be released Sept. 15) during their joint work session on Tuesday, Sept..."
"...The theme of Tuesday's not-quite-joint meeting between the Planning Commission and Zoning & Platting Commission (which formally became an extension of the Planning Commission's standard biweekly meeting when not enough ZAP members showed up to produce a quorum) seemed to be communication. Between updates from CodeNEXT staffers and the CodeNEXT Advisory Group's briefing on their recommendations for the revised land development code, PC Chair Stephen Oliver was intent on stressing the importance of open lines between each group involved in the rewrite...."
"...CodeNEXT has at last kerplunked onto the city scene, and everyone's first order of business now becomes figuring out how to feel about the darned thing. By Wednesday, only the most ardent land development code geeks had made any substantial plunge into the massive document's 1,100-or-so pages..."
"...As one of two land use commissions responsible for advising Council on CodeNEXT, the recommendation offered by Chair Jolene Kiolbassa and Vice Chair Jim Duncan came as a shock to dissenting commissioners who fear the resolution will remove ZAP from what’s left of the lengthy process. [image-1]..."
"...Sorry, the headline and kicker are all I've got. I was going to write an April Fools' column about how this great breakthrough had occurred on CodeNEXT, and someone had figured out how to make everyone happy, and now it's going to sail through to Council approval ....."