Austin’s CodeNEXT project will be delayed more than two months

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The third draft of CodeNEXT—the ongoing rewrite of Austin’s land development code—will not be released until February 2018, according to a memo sent by city staff on Thursday.

The third draft was originally scheduled for release later this month on Nov. 28. The move will push back the original April 2018 deadline and represents the first significant delay since the project’s timeline was released at the beginning of this year.

The city began the project to rewrite its land development code to address issues associated with Austin’s continued growth. The project has now cost more than four years and $8.5 million.

“We acknowledge shared concerns expressed by our community, boards, commissions, and council throughout this process,” interim assistant city manager Joe Pantalion said in Thursday’s memo to city council. “CodeNEXT is a complex project, and it has always been our goal to present a quality product for council consideration. To adequately consider the comments and concerns received to date, the CodeNEXT project team needs additional time to prepare Draft 3.”

Mayor Steve Adler, in a statement on Thursday morning, said the delay was “good news for Austin.”

“I’m glad the staff will take the time to deliver a good recommendation as I, and others, have urged them to do,” Adler said. “I heard the community request we take our time to get CodeNEXT right and also to finally get it done. Our current code is a big reason why we are less affordable and more congested, so getting the job done and done right is important.”

Pantalion’s memo said a revised schedule will be released once board and commission meeting dates are confirmed.

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Christopher Neely

Christopher Neely is Community Impact's Austin City Hall reporter. A New Jersey native, Christopher moved to Austin in 2016 following two years of community reporting along the Jersey Shore. His bylines have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun and USA Today. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

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