CodeNEXT Draft 2.0 release date set for Sept. 15; expect several changes according to city staff

A spokesperson for Austin's Planning and Zoning Department said CodeNEXT Draft 2.0 will be released on Sept. 15.

A spokesperson for Austin's Planning and Zoning Department said CodeNEXT Draft 2.0 will be released on Sept. 15.

Draft 2.0 for CodeNEXT, the rewrite of the city’s land development code, will be released on Sept. 15, with 3.0 set for release on Nov. 28, according to a city spokesperson.

Alina Carnahan, a spokesperson for the city’s planning and zoning department, confirmed the scheduled dates to Community Impact Newspaper on Monday. The Sept. 15 release will include a revised version of the initially proposed land development code and accompanying zoning maps.

In drafting this next version, staff and the CodeNEXT consultants sorted through 4,150 comments made by residents, advocates, businesses, organizations and anyone with an opinion on the first draft. The CodeNEXT Citizens Advisory Group worked as the buffer between the city’s planning and zoning professionals and the public as it formed recommendations for the next draft.

Carnahan said the public should expect several changes to both the code and the zoning maps. The code will no longer be split between so-called transect and non-transect zones, rather it will be a single “continuous spectrum” of zones according to Carnahan.

“We heard from the community and having transect and non-transect zones was confusing and didn’t really simplify the code as much as we wanted,” Carnahan said.

Transect zones regulate the physical characteristics of the structures in the zone more than the structures’ uses. That tool will not disappear from the code but will have a different name and will be categorized in alignment with all other residential zones.

As for the zoning maps—which caused dismay among citizens, some of whom said they were too aggressive and too conservative—Carnahan said staff reconsidered the location of some zones and their regulations.

While the first draft was passed onto the CodeNEXT Citizens Advisory Group, the second draft will be in the hands of the city’s land use commissions—Planning Commission and Zoning and Platting Commission—, the Historic Landmark Commission and the Environmental Commission, which will draft recommendations through October. Staff will take the recommendations, publish a third draft on Nov. 28 for review by the Planning and Commission and Zoning and Platting Commission. Although the Zoning and Platting Commission will have until Jan. 11 to make their recommendations to council, the Planning Commission will be required to vote on and pass their recommendations before a fourth draft gets to council.

Council is expected to approve the code and zoning maps by April 2018.
By Christopher Neely
Christopher Neely is Community Impact's Austin City Hall reporter. A New Jersey native, Christopher moved to Austin in 2016 following years of community reporting along the Jersey Shore. His bylines have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, USA Today and several other local outlets along the east coast.


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