By now, you may have heard: the City of Austin is revising its 1984 land development code (LDC), something that hasn’t happened for about 35 years. This comprehensive LDC update is an opportunity to put Austin on a more sustainable path for how we grow and what effect that growth will have on our household affordability, mobility options, and the environment. The simplified and refreshed LDC also will make it much easier for homeowners to understand what kinds of changes they can make to their property and what changes will be allowed for their neighbors, as well.
Many of the successes Austin has enjoyed as a city come from the strong foundation of environmental and water quality protections that residents have worked hard to build over the decades. An updated LDC must reinforce this foundation while recognizing that if we don’t allow for better choices in terms of mobility and access to everyday necessities like grocery stores, medical care, schools, parks, and local businesses, it will be impossible to reach our climate protection goals and maintain Austin as the green city it has long been.
Following City Council policy direction in May, the LDC staff team released a draft code text and map in early October that implements Council’s direction. As our office examines these documents in preparation for first-reading action at the December 9 City Council meeting, and throughout this process, we welcome your input and questions! After first reading, the LDC staff will incorporate all the changes Council made on December 9 and bring a second draft back for further action in January.
There are many great resources to help you understand more about what the LDC does and how the proposed revisions might impact you where you live, work, and play.
The main hub of information is the City’s LDC website, located at www.austintexas.gov/ldc. To get started, you may want to check out the What, Why, and How and Learn and Ask sections. The latter allows you to review answers to Frequently Asked Questions, submit additional questions, and read more detailed blog posts on key topics. To see the proposed zoning for your home and every other property in Austin and how it compares to the current zoning, take a look at the interactive zoning map. And for a readable, in-depth write-up of the proposed LDC revisions, the 50-page October 4 Staff Report is a great resource.
Please know Council Member Ellis and her staff want to hear your feedback on the proposed LDC text and map. We invite you to join us for a District 8 LDC Question & Answer Session with the Land Development Code staff on Tuesday, November 19, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, at the Abiding Love Lutheran Church at 7210 Brush Country Rd, Austin, TX 78749.
We hope you can make it to the Q&A event and appreciate your involvement! Please contact our office at District8@austintexas.gov if you need assistance or have additional questions.