Austin City Council to pick best approach for rewriting land development code

(Updated 3:53 p.m.)



Austin City Council on Oct. 23 will decide among three proposed approaches for rewriting the city's land development code, an ongoing process dubbed CodeNEXT.



The recommended approach, known as a "deep clean," would update and simplify many aspects of the existing code rather than rewrite the code from scratch.



A coalition of professional organizations is anticipated to announce its support for rewriting the city code during an Oct. 22 media event cohosted by the Real Estate Council of Austin, the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Austin Board of Realtors, Austin Apartment Association, Downtown Austin Alliance, Congress for the New Urbanism, Housing Works Austin and AURA —formerly Austinites for Urban Rail Action.



Once an approach has been selected by council, the city's Planning and Development Department can begin the yearlong process of rewriting the code. According to the CodeNEXT timeline, the updated code will be ready for final City Council approval by fall 2015.




On Oct. 23, Austin City Council members will take up 54 total items for consideration, 32 of which are from the consent agenda.



Top agenda items include:



  • Consider changing city code to allow metered parking spaces to count toward minimum off-street parking required for nonresidential users. The metered space would have to be within 250 feet of the site in order to count toward parking requirements. This item has been requested to be postponed until Nov. 6.

  • Consider changing requirements for building safe, mixed-income, accessible and reasonably priced transit-oriented housing, or S.M.A.R.T. housing, to require development to be within half a mile of a transit route and allow exceptions for development to take place where future routes are anticipated.

Items currently on the consent agenda, meaning they must pass unanimously, include:



  • Change city code to require seven "yes" votes from City Council to pass an item on third reading in anticipation of the expanded 10-member council. Currently only five "yes" votes are required.

  • Consider selling two tracts of land to the city of Cedar Park for $4.1 million.

  • Indefinitely postpone consideration of changing regulations regarding concrete pouring, which is permitted downtown from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and regulations of such. Councilwoman Laura Morrison plans to propose stopping concrete pouring by 2 a.m., with some possible exceptions.

  • Consider allowing Decker Lake Golf LLC to utilize land at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park for a pro-quality golf course.

  • Postpone request of City Manager Marc Ott to develop amendments to current code in regard to amplified sound permits for large-scale music events until Nov. 6.