Evolve Austin opposes proposed city staff changes to "small lot amnesty"

This Thursday, City Council will consider an amendment to City Code that would curtail the use of Small Lot Amnesty to provide more affordable housing options in the urban core where such options are badly needed.  

If we're going to realize on the Imagine Austin vision of a compact and connected city that is accessible and affordable to a broad range of people and income levels we'll need to get more housing on less land.  Small Lot Amnesty is an infill tool that can be opted into by neighborhood plans that permit homes to be built on lots smaller than the Austin minimum lot size, if they were originally legal platted lots.  For a full description, please see our article here.  

In January, we wrote to Council with the letter posted below explaining our reasons for opposing this change.  

Ultimately, we'll need to address lot size as part of CodeNEXT.  In the meantime, this change strikes us as moving in the wrong direction, away from our comprehensive plan.  We encourage Council to send a strong signal to staff that they do not support items that move us away from the goals of Imagine Austin and keep Small Lot Amnesty, as currently drafted, as an option for neighborhood plans.

CodeNEXT Sound Check Q&A with Evolve

CodeNEXT Sound Check Q&A with Evolve

All roads to the Best Austin Imaginable go through CodeNEXT, the multi-year redraft of our land development code. This week’s CodeNEXT Sound Check gives us our first look at how the new code will shape the Austin of tomorrow. At the Sound Check the CodeNEXT team will collaborate and “check their work” against Imagine Austin and all of our feedback - your participation is critical.

Have questions about CodeNEXT and the Sound Check?  Come join Evolve Austin Partners this Wednesday 11/18 at 4pm as we host a Q&A with CodeNEXT team. This is a great opportunity to talk directly with city staff in an open Q&A.

After the Q&A stick around for the Eco Day Block Party 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. and Pin-up/Open Studio from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.  featuring entertainment from Kupira Marima and Food Trucks on hand from Urban Cowboys, Southern Fusion and Heros Gyros.

Members of the Evolve Austin Board will also be on hand during the during the Q&A and Block Party. Come by and say hi, we’d love to talk to you about what we’re doing and what else you can do to help.

Thank you for making Best Austin Imaginable an overwhelming success

Thank you for making Best Austin Imaginable an overwhelming success

Evolve Austin was simply blown away by the overwhelming support shown for creating positive change at the Best Austin Imaginable event. Hundreds of you rallied to create the city we need and desire, hear nationally renowned urban design expert Peter Park on how Imagine Austin will help us get there, and make personal written commitments to do your part to create the Best Austin Imaginable. It was as powerful a kick-off for the Evolve Austin coalition that we could possibly imagine - so thank you!

Evolve Austin opposes the appointment, or reappointment, of individuals to the CAG who cannot support Imagine Austin

Evolve Austin opposes the appointment, or reappointment, of individuals to the CAG who cannot support Imagine Austin

Council is in the process of appointing, or reappointing, individuals to serve on the Land Development Code Advisory Group (CAG) which advises Council on CodeNEXT.  CodeNEXT is the City's process to implement Priority Program 8 of Imagine Austin which requires that the City revise our land development regulations "to promote a compact and connect city."

There is a sufficient assortment of criteria to serve on the CAG allowing Council to draw from a wide diversity of perspectives, experience and talent from all over Austin.  However, the base criteria for all members is that they must support the City's goal of revising the City's land development code to promote a "compact and connected" city.  Part of the job as CAG members is to "actively support the revision of the land development code."  CAG members cannot do so and fight the central goals of Imagine Austin at the same time.  Evolve Austin holds that any individual who cannot actively support Imagine Austin and Priority Program 8 should be excluded from consideration and disqualified from serving on the CAG. 

An Introduction to Evolve Austin

An Introduction to Evolve Austin

Evolve Austin Partners are championing the Imagine Austin comprehensive plan, crafted by the people of Austin, to create a more affordable, mobile and sustainable city.  We believe the challenges and opportunities presented by our city’s explosive growth require compact and connected strategies that create better and more inclusive choices for living, working, and getting around. 

We're a network of civic-minded organizations such as the Alliance for Public Transportation, Austin Music People, and the Congress of the New Urbanism Central Texas Chapter. These established groups are already moving our city forward in seven priority areas, all identified in the Imagine Austin comprehensive plan:

Transportation and Land Use
Household Affordability and Neighborhoods
Economic Growth and Workforce Development
Social Equity
Sustainable Resource Management
Parks, Public Health, and City Services
Creative Economy and Culture

For next several weeks we're going to be trying some ideas out on the website and see what's working, what isn't, how things might get better.  Let us know what you think.  


AMP Call to Action: Keep FunFunFunFest at Auditorium Shores

AMP Call to Action:  Keep FunFunFunFest at Auditorium Shores

Results:  1,050 messages in elected officials' mailboxes from Austin Music People followers like you - and then some.

11,427 total messages sent to City Hall by people fightinf to make sure promises to Austin music are respected. 

Nearly two dozen Austin musicians and other music professionals doing killer networking in the City Hall atrium before the vote.

11 voices from the dais confirming that FunFunFun should keep its spot in Auditorium Shores for its 10th anniversary event.

And one unanimous "YES" telling the world that Austin music matters.


Community engagement on issues like these is what makes the difference between a regular music scene...and the growing political influence of those who make Austin the Live Music Capital of the World.

Your participation in the AMP campaign made our shared success possible.  And we're just getting started.

It's time to unite and fight for Austin music. We're proud to fight alongside you. Thanks for raising your voice.


Evolve Austin Responds to Attempt to Stack and Gag the CAG

Evolve Austin Responds to Attempt to Stack and Gag the CAG

Issue:  Evolve has responded to a recent attempt to stack and gag the CAG by expanding the CAG to to place an ANC and SOS representatives on the Code Advisory Group and which would have directed the City Manager to silence the advisory group until those appointments were made.  

Action Taken:  Evolve Austin worked hard to ensure that any expansion of the CAG include people who "actively support the revision of the Land Development Code".  We urged that any expansion of the CAG include people for various disciplines, expertise and practical experience a true diversity of voices from from neighborhoods and not simply those of the already well represented ANC.  See our letter below.

Results: On the Neighborhoods and Planning Committee, there was an agreement to expand the CAG in the districts that currently lack representation (Districts 2, 3, 4 and 7) and permit the Mayor an appointment "with an eye towards filling the gaps in expertise and background, which are environmental/green building/landscape architecture, renters and renters' advocates, the small business community, those with ability to do outreach to large sectors of the community, the Austin Neighborhoods Council's officers, those with an eye towards the economic impacts of a code rewrite, especially with regard to gentrification and economic segregation and integration in our communities."

Get Involved:  Write, call or email the Mayor and Council Members in Districts 2, 3, 4 and 7 and urge them to appoint representatives who actively support the revision of the Land Development Code and who will adhere to the purpose of Priority Program 8 to revise "Austin's development regulations and processes to promote a compact and connected city."


Evolve Austin Successfully Responds to Threat to Water Down CodeNEXT

Evolve Austin Successfully Responds to Threat to Water Down CodeNEXT

Evolve Austin received early warning from key allies that Land Development Code Advisory Group (CAG) member Jeff Jack proposed a resolution directing Opticos and City Staff to draft the Land Development Code in such a way that the Neighborhood Plans could be "replicated" in their current form after the implementation of CodeNEXT.  

Jeff Jack's resolution placed the multi-year CodeNEXT effort to bring sense to our Land Development Code in jeopardy. Evolve Austin responded. The resolution was tabled at the last minute, but may be re-introduced. Stay tuned.