Downtown Austin Plan Needs You

The DAP re-envisions Downtown, district by district

What should each district within Down­town look and feel like as the area continues to grow and change? The Downtown Austin Plan team wants to hear from the community on that topic as it writes new Downtown development standards. The standards will require that new projects be designed to advance community goals – such as walkable, lively, human-scaled street­scapes, with a balance of good new architecture and appealing public and open spaces.

Rather than create a whole new form-based code for Downtown, the consultant team led by ROMA Design Group is writing standards tailored to individual districts, which will modify the existing land development code. Density bonuses have gotten the most attention of late, but the standards will address a full range of issues. ROMA principal Jana McCann said the development standards will add form-based (context-sensitive, place-making) elements, building on the urban design guidelines developed by the Design Commission. The standards will improve on the existing code by addressing three key goals: promoting mixed-use development, increasing sustainability (multimodal transportation, green-building), and elevating urban design (massing, detailing, density, compatibility).

To provide input, review the February 2010 presentation on Draft Downtown Develop­ment Regulations at www.cityofaustin.org/downtown, and send your comments to Jorge Rousselin at jorge.rousselin@ci.austin.tx.us using the e-mail subject line "DAP Develop­ment Standards Comments." Interested groups can schedule a staff presentation and dialogue, as well.

Below, see the schedule for how the work will proceed in the coming months, toward the ultimate goal of getting new development standards adopted into law within the land development code.

Downtown Austin Plan Schedule

Work sessions with key stakeholder groups: February-March 2010

Town hall meeting on district plans: April 2010

Town hall meeting on draft Downtown Austin Plan: June 2010

Commission and stakeholder review of DAP: June-August 2010

Council review and first action on DAP adoption: September 2010

And looking forward, if council adopts the DAP:

Land development code, drafting of new ordinances: 2010–2011

Planning Commission reviews: 2010–2011

City Council, final adoption of new code: 2011-early 2012 (projected)

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Katherine Gregor, March 20, 2009

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Downtown Austin Plan, ROMA Design Group, Jana McCann

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