The Land Development Code has a significant impact on our daily lives, from shaping the kinds of places where we live, work, and hang out, to influencing the design of our streets and public spaces.
The Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan, adopted by City Council in 2012, lays out our vision for a city of complete communities that can respond to the pressures and opportunities of our growing, modern city. To realize this vision, the City’s Land Development Code – the rules and processes that regulate where and what type of development may occur – must be updated to help achieve these goals.
Our existing Land Development Code was written nearly 30 years ago when Austin's population was half the size it is now, and it has become overly complex after being amended hundreds of times over the years to accommodate unforeseen issues. The Code needs to be changed to help us create the kinds of places we want, as identified in Imagine Austin, and to address critical issues such as diminishing natural resources, household affordability, and access to healthy lifestyles – to name a few.
The Code will play an important role in guiding the future growth of the city. The opportunity to update our Land Development Code means more than making it simpler to use and understand; it means creating a framework to help improve our quality of life.
Every neighborhood in Austin has a distinct character worth preserving and building upon. The diversity of lifestyles and uniqueness of our living environments has given our city its personality and feel. The new Code will put a framework in place to better protect, enhance, and ensure the long-term stability and appeal of our neighborhoods.
Part of Austin’s appeal is its natural beauty. From swimming in Barton Springs to jogging along the Butler Trail around Lady Bird Lake, Austinites love the outdoors. We must protect our water supply, air quality, and green spaces for future generations by managing the pressures of development and responding to the demands on our natural resources brought on by Austin’s population growth and worsening drought conditions.
It is no secret that it is becoming harder and harder to get around Austin, and that our region has significant transportation challenges. Many of us find it difficult to get to work, or even a grocery store, without a car.