Community is invited to learn more in the coming months.
The City of Austin has released a draft of the revised Land Development Code text and zoning map guided by Council’s May 2 policy direction. The draft Code and zoning map are available for public view at austintexas.gov/ldc.
“The City’s approach to revising the Code is to learn from the past, care for the present, and plan for the future,” said co-lead Annick Beaudet. “We are grateful for the policy direction provided by the City Council, and believe we were able to provide a thoughtful, context-sensitive approach in this draft”.
The Land Development Code Revision presented today guides growth to create the diverse types of places and housing we want, access to things we need and enjoy, while protecting cultural assets, the environment and our health, welfare and safety.
In addition to the draft Code and zoning map, the City of Austin has released a staff report that provides information about the full draft Code. Key highlights include:
A proposed zoning map for Austin including new, more modernized and streamlined zones based on sound urban planning principles, as well as zones for house-scale multi-units, often referred to as “missing middle” housing.
An increase in housing capacity due to the addition of Missing Middle Zones in Transition Areas and the updated Affordable Housing Density Bonus Program. Transition Areas make up about 2 percent of the city’s land area.
An updated Affordable Housing Density Bonus Program which will provide more opportunities for affordable housing choices in a larger portion of Austin. Currently, the Affordable Housing Density Bonus Program applies in less than 3 percent of the city.
Working concurrently with the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan (ASMP), the draft Land Development Code proposes increases in housing and diversifying housing types close to major transportation corridors. Further, in support of the ASMP goal of a 50-50 mode share, context-sensitive changes to parking regulations are also proposed in the draft.
The proposed zoning maps and Code text take into account changes to floodplains based on estimated Atlas 14 data and provide increased environmental protections for trees, reduced flood risk for commercial projects doing their fair share for drainage, and improved water quality citywide.
- Development processes are improved and tailored to the type and intensity of development, clearly defining what regulations apply to different categories of development. The draft is also streamlined and simplified compared to previous drafts, and an improvement over current code.
Before the Code can be adopted, several additional steps are necessary, and the public will be able to provide comments directly to the Planning Commission, Council, or both.
“Today is a critical milestone on our path towards updating our citywide Land Development Code, something that needs to happen so that we have better tools to address the challenges our community faces,” said Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk. “The input we received from the public over the years, the work Council did leading up to the policy direction, and the continued work on staff’s part, have all led us to this point. This is an iterative process and we must all continue working together until a new Land Development Code is adopted, hopefully next year.”
Upcoming milestones in the adoption process:
- Planning Commission Public Hearing (scheduled for October 26)
- Planning Commission vote and recommendations to Council (anticipated in November)
- City Council Public Hearing (anticipated in November)
- City Council consideration on first reading (anticipated in December)
Opportunities for the community to learn more about the proposed Code include:
An interactive, technical exercise that encourages members of the public to test configurations of five zoning scenarios.
- October 18 – 1 to 8 p.m. at City Hall, 3rd Floor Atrium (301 W. 2nd Street, 78701)
A walkable demonstration to educate and inform the public on transition areas and missing middle housing types, transportation and parking, environment and flooding, housing and affordability, and the process moving forward.
- October 19 – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center (808 Nile St., 78702)
- October 23 – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Austin Central Library (710 W Cesar Chavez St., 78701)
The public can schedule one-on-one appointments with the staff to ask questions about specific properties or neighborhoods and how the Code may apply.
“In responding to Council’s direction, staff’s work draws on new ideas as well as ideas from other cities and the best elements of Austin’s current code. On behalf of the entire Land Development Code Revision Team we look forward to working with Council, the Planning Commission, and residents in the coming weeks to identify areas of agreement and facilitate greater understanding on key issues in advance of the public hearing process”, said co-lead Brent Lloyd.
Information on the Land Development Code Revision, including updated information about upcoming events, as well as blog posts, FAQs, will be posted to the website frequently. To learn more information, visit austintexas.gov/ldc.