New zoning maps will be released April 18 that will show how the city of Austin's land development code rewrite will affect area neighborhoods.
CodeNEXT is the rewrite process aimed at providing a better framework for future development and to also achieve goals set out in the city’s comprehensive plan called Imagine Austin.
The new CodeNEXT draft maps will also indicate where new housing density could be built along the city’s major corridors.
Some doubts have also been raised about how much density the corridors could absorb in an effort to reach 135,000 new housing units by 2025 as envisioned in the Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint approved by council Thursday.
“We will have failed if the maps come out and they show 20,000 new units. Well, that’s not going to work. Our housing plan is calling for 135,000 new units in 10 years,” said Mandy De Mayo, a member of the CodeNEXT advisory committee and executive director of advocacy group HousingWorks Austin. “Show us where you’re going to put [new housing] and have it make sense. It’s not all going to go downtown. That’s not going to do us any good.”
De Mayo said some concern over the capacity of the corridors surfaced at a Feb. 6, 2015, CodeNEXT Advisory Group meeting, at which staffers presented a study of possible redevelopment on Burnet Road from 45th Street to US 183.
Results indicated 52 percent of parcels would likely only be remodeled because of high land costs, existing zoning, market conditions and parking requirements. Less than 20 percent of lots would actually be redeveloped, and of that redevelopment, 41 percent would be parking under existing requirements.
“The question that follows is are you really going to achieve Imagine Austin objectives when you’re only working with 20 percent with what is in the mix for redevelopment?” former city planner Sylvia Leon Guerrero told CAG members.
“When you look at [Burnet] from an aerial perspective those lots are super shallow,” De Mayo said. “I hadn’t realized that. I just assumed, ‘Oh, we’ll just build a bunch of six-story buildings up and down Burnet.’ … We’re not going to add a lot more to Burnet Road unless something’s changed.”
After the draft maps are released, city staff will launch an online tool to allow residents to see the draft rezoned areas.
Additionally, the city will host open house meetings in each district starting in late April to show residents how the updated land development code will affect each council district.
Amy is the managing editor for nine publications in Central Texas. She joined Community Impact in September 2010, serving as reporter and senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition as well as covering transportation in the Austin metro. She graduated from Truman State University in her native state of Missouri, and previously worked for Pioneer Press in the Chicago area. She enjoys playing board games and spending time with her husband, son and two cats.
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