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Centers and Corridors
Challenge: By separating land uses, the old land development code encouraged sprawl and made it necessary for more people to get in their cars and drive to access amenities and work far from their homes.
Solution: The new code will be applied using a framework that encourages a mix of uses in centers and along corridors, supported by housing, giving more people the opportunity to live near transit and within walking distance of amenities.
Human-scale Street Design
Challenge: Streets designed without adequate consideration for non-automobile users disregard the character of the places they connect or travel through and discourage the use of transportation options.
Solution: Everyone starts and ends their trip as a pedestrian. New requirements for street design include human-scale elements to support walkability, including sidewalks, street trees for shade, and frontage designs that reflect local character.
Urban Trail Connections
Challenge: Residents seek ways to enjoy the outdoors and live healthier lifestyles but lack access to recreational trails and active methods of commuting.
Solution: Under new requirements for subdivisions, site plans, and building permits, projects must connect to existing trails or construct new urban trails where applicable, according to the Urban Trails Master Plan.
Challenge: Many Austinites want the option to get around the city without having to rely on an automobile, but the city lacks multimodal infrastructure and services necessary to make doing so safe and convenient.
Solution: The new code incentivizes the provision of facilities that make using active modes of transport, such as walking, biking, and transit, easier and safer.
Walk to Shops and Services
Challenge: Small neighborhood shops found historically in urban core neighborhoods are discouraged by the current code, and are rare in newer neighborhoods located further from the urban core.
Solution: The new zoning code allows small neighborhood shops, in many more Austin neighborhoods, to provide these amenities within walking distance. It also reduces the number of parking spaces required for most land use categories to allow for better use of land.
Frequently Asked Questions
Overview materials are being translated into Spanish, and Spanish-language interpreters are in attendance at major public meetings. In addition, we are setting up an innovative outreach program to build ongoing participation and leadership activities in traditionally under-represented communities. We are also contacting organizations not currently involved in City planning efforts, as well as key community leaders to get involved in the process in meaningful ways.
An electronic version of Austin’s current Land Development Code can be found on the Planning and Development Review Department’s website.