At its monthly meeting Wednesday, the local citizen coalition Austin Neighborhoods Council outlined its four strategic initiatives for the year.
At the top of the list was CodeNEXT, the redevelopment of the city’s land use code. Much of Wednesday’s discussion revolved around CodeNEXT, as Jim Duncan, a member of the code advisory group, gave neighbors the latest progress report on the code.
ANC called for “a clear, equitable and metric/data-driven land use regulation that adequately addresses problems such as affordability, displacement and lack of public input.”
The neighborhoods council also said it wanted to focus on creating a department of neighborhoods within city government and insisting Austin City Council publish a tabulated record of council member votes after each council meeting.
The fourth strategic initiative revolves around a topic of much discussion over the years at ANC: affordable housing.
The initiative calls for result-driven policies for improving affordability for everyone, especially those living at the 50 percent limit of median family income.
Other things to know about Wednesday’s meeting:
- Mary Ingle was officially instated as ANC president following former president David King’s recusal. King was recently appointed to the city of Austin’s Zoning and Platting Commission and stepped down from his ANC leadership role.
- When asked for her thoughts on the expansion of the Austin Convention Center, Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo said she wanted to examine the economic climate of convention centers before making a decision on whether to expand.
- ANC passed a resolution opposing the Loop 360 Texas Department of Transportation logo signs that neighbors argue are “cheap advertising” on public land. The resolution calls for the signs, which the resolution likened to billboards, to be removed.
- ANC also passed a resolution asking Austin City Council to provide more information about how DNA evidence is being tested. The resolution comes after the city’s DNA lab was shut down last year following an audit by the Texas Forensic Sciences Commission, who found the lab was outdated and its staff undertrained. The resolution also asks for a “feasible long-term plan” for proper evidence testing.