Ahead of the release of the public comment CodeNEXT draft, Evolve Austin Partners has shared a letter with City Council and the Planning Commission, highlighting key questions for staff as they continue to move forward with code revisions and public input.
The letter outlines several key questions:
- How will the code promote a compact and connected city, as required by Priority Program 8?
- How will the code support “complete streets as well as standards to encourage public transit, walking and bicycling”?
- How will the code foster a “diversity of housing types throughout the city ,” including the “introduction and expansion into the market of housing types such as row houses, courtyard apartments, bungalow courts, small lot single-family, garage apartments, and live/work units”?
- How will the code will address Austin’s obstacles to becoming a “beacon of . . . social equity”, e.g. the “minimum lot sizes, off-street parking requirements, height limits, prohibitions on multifamily housing, or lengthy permitting processes” that, according to economists and housing experts in the Obama White House, “contribute to rising inequality”?
- How will the code fully address each of the challenges listed in the Code Diagnosis?
- What are the projected impacts of the code on the complete communities indicators, which the Imagine Austin plan states “measure success in achieving plan goals”?
- How will the code enable Austin, in a sustainable fashion, to accommodate 610,000 additional people within the city limits over the next 20 years, the basis for the comprehensive plan’s preferred growth scenario and growth concept map?
- How will the code protect environmentally-sensitive areas and incorporate nature into the city, reversing “[t]he way Austin has grown for the last 60 years,” which “comes at a troubling price in terms of . . . public health, air and water quality, loss of natural open space and agricultural lands, and climate change?”
Evolve Austin Partners champions the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan, crafted by the people of Austin to create a more affordable, mobile, and sustainable city. The full text of the letter is available here.