Mapping the Land Development Code Madness
Trying to make sense of the proposed changes
Transition Areas, Transition Zones
One of the most controversial components of the LDC revision involves the upzoning of properties along corridors, centers, and transit priority networks, as defined in Imagine Austin and the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan. Compared to the first draft, the new zoning map reduces the width of the transition areas by one lot's depth along corridors that are "primarily residential in character and use," reduces or eliminates upzonings in areas most vulnerable to gentrification, and adds transition zoning in a lot of places, spread more widely across town. This addresses some of the rather heated complaints about how much of the upzoning in the first draft was concentrated in central neighborhoods, but results are mixed, and it clearly isn't going to satisfy everyone.
Transition areas are the parts of town – generally within one to three blocks of a corridor, center, or transit priority network – that are proposed to be rezoned for more "missing middle" and multifamily uses.
Transition zones are the new zoning categories to be applied to tracts in the transition areas that are currently zoned for single-family homes and duplexes, plus a scattering of other current zonings. There are two such zones: RM1 and R4, with one providing more height, more units, and more impervious cover nearer to a major corridor, and the other slightly less on lots farther away.
RM1: (DARK BLUE) A residential multi-unit zone, allowing narrow lot widths for townhomes, duplexes, and live/work spaces; and up to six units on a lot (or 10 with participation in an Affordable Housing Bonus Program). Regs for impervious cover and FAR were tweaked in this draft to allow increases only for projects providing extra units.
R4: (LIGHT BLUE) A residential house-scale zone, allowing four units (eight with the AHBP bonus), slightly less height and impervious cover, and standards intended to "maintain a house-scale aesthetic."
Single-Family/Duplex: (YELLOW) Properties outside the transition areas that are currently zoned SF will generally be rezoned to R2A or R2B, allowing two units per lot or, in some cases, left with their current zoning.
Other Zones: (OTHER COLORS) Properties other than single-family/duplex residential were generally either left with their current zoning or given roughly similar new zoning.