The Code Interpretation Library provides useful information on how the City interprets and applies certain regulations in the Land Development Code (Title 25 of the City Code), including site development and subdivision regulations, as well as technical (construction) codes.

Code Interpretations

Frequently Asked Questions
Archived Interpretations
Contact Form


 

Code Interpretations by Topic

Accessibility

CI2021-0001 - Accessible Routes of Travel and Parking Materials

PM2021-0001 - No Step Threshold

PM2021-0002 - Family or Assisted Use Toilet and Bathing Rooms

Accessory Dwelling Unit

CI2021-0014 - Size Limitations for Accessory Dwelling Units

Dwelling Units CI2021-0012 - Dwelling Unit Components
HVAC

CI2021-0004 - Registers for Balancing Dampers

CI2021-0005 - Fan-Powered Terminal Units

CI2021-0007 - Automatic Shut Off for Air Moving Equipment in Existing Buildings

Fire CI2021-0006 - Location of Emergency Shut Off Valve for Gas to Stove Hoods
Mixed-Use CI2021-0002 - Permitting of Mixed-Use and Multiple Occupancy Buildings 
NCCD CI2021-0015-BOA - Parking Calculations in the North University NCCD
Parking

CI2021-0001 - Accessible Routes of Travel and Parking Materials

CI2021-0015-BOA - Parking Calculations in the North University NCCD

Permits CI2021-0002 - Permitting of Mixed-Use and Multiple Occupancy Buildings 
Pipe Installation CI2021-0009 - Trenching, Excavation, Bedding, and Backfilling of Piping
Plumbing CI2021-0003 - Installation of Composting Toilets
Specialized Certifications PM2021-0004 - Worker Protection Standards – Applicability
Swimming Pools CI2021-0008 - Mechanical and Pool Equipment in Required Yards

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Code Interpretations by Code Section

2000/2003 Uniform Plumbing Code Answers and Analysis Manual  CI2021-0009 - Trenching, Excavation, Bedding, and Backfilling of Piping
2012 Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) CI2021-0003 - Installation of Composting Toilets
2015 International Building Code (IBC)

CI2021-0001 - Accessible Routes of Travel and Parking Materials

CI2021-0002 - Permitting of Mixed-Use and Multiple Occupancy Buildings 

PM2021-0002 - Family or Assisted Use Toilet and Bathing Rooms

2015 International Existing Building Code (IEBC) CI2021-0007 - Automatic Shut Off for Air Moving Equipment in Existing Buildings
2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) CI2021-0004 - Registers for Balancing Dampers
2015 International Mechanical Code (IMC)

CI2021-0004 - Registers for Balancing Dampers

CI2021-0005 - Fan-Powered Terminal Units

2015 International Plumbing Code (IPC) CI2021-0009 - Trenching, Excavation, Bedding, and Backfilling of Piping
2015 Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC)

CI2021-0004 - Registers for Balancing Dampers

CI2021-0005 - Fan-Powered Terminal Units

CI2021-0007 - Automatic Shut Off for Air Moving Equipment in Existing Buildings

2015 Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC)

CI2021-0006 - Location of Emergency Shut Off Valve for Gas to Stove Hoods

CI2021-0009 - Trenching, Excavation, Bedding, and Backfilling of Piping

2021 International Residential Code (IRC)

CI2021-0012 - Dwelling Unit Components

Austin City Code – Title 4 (Business Regulation and Permit Requirements) PM2021-0004 - Worker Protection Standards – Applicability
Austin City Code – Title 5 Civil Rights
Section 5-1-141 – Building Entrances.
PM2021-0001 - No Step Threshold
Land Development Code – Title 25
 

CI2021-0008 - Mechanical and Pool Equipment in Required Yards

CI2021-0012 - Dwelling Unit Components

CI2021-0014 - Size Limitations for Accessory Dwelling Units

CI2021-0015-BOA - Parking Calculations in the North University NCCD

North University Neighborhood Conservation Combining District (NCCD),
Ordinance 040826-58
CI2021-0015-BOA - Parking Calculations in the North University NCCD
Ordinance No. 20170608-056
Local Amendment:  Section 608.0
CI2021-0007 - Automatic Shut Off for Air Moving Equipment in Existing Buildings

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Code Interpretations by Year

2011

CI2021-0001 - Accessible Routes of Travel and Parking Materials

2012

CI2021-0002 - Permitting of Mixed-Use and Multiple Occupancy Buildings 

CI2021-0003 - Installation of Composting Toilets

2013

PM2021-0001 - No Step Threshold

2014

CI2021-0004 - Registers for Balancing Dampers

CI2021-0005 - Fan-Powered Terminal Units

CI2021-0006 - Location of Emergency Shut Off Valve for Gas to Stove Hoods

CI2021-0007 - Automatic Shut Off for Air Moving Equipment in Existing Buildings

CI2021-0008 - Mechanical and Pool Equipment in Required Yards

PM2021-0002 - Family or Assisted Use Toilet and Bathing Rooms

2015

CI2021-0009 - Trenching, Excavation, Bedding, and Backfilling of Piping

2018 CI2021-0012 - Dwelling Unit Components
2019 PM2021-0004 - Worker Protection Standards – Applicability
2021

CI2021-0014 - Size Limitations for Accessory Dwelling Units

CI2021-0015-BOA - Parking Calculations in the North University NCCD

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are “code interpretations,” “policy memos,” and “rules”?
  • A “code interpretation” is a formal memo explaining how the City interprets and applies regulations in the Land Development Code (LDC). Code interpretations are appropriate if:
    • A regulation can be read in different ways; and 
    • Providing clarification would benefit broad categories of development, rather just a specific project or permit application.
       
  • A “policy memo” is less formal and used to provide updates or explanations on administrative process, rather than interpretations of the LDC.
     
  • An “administrative rule” is a regulation adopted by an individual department and codified in a criteria manual, like the Environmental, Drainage, or Transportation criteria manuals.  Unlike a code interpretation or policy memo, administrative rules adopt requirements implementing the LDC and are subject to procedures specified in City Code Chapter 1-2 (Adoption of Rules). Administrative rules can be found on the MuniCode website.
What is the “Code Interpretation Library”?

The Library catalogs code interpretations the City uses as an aid to applying regulations governing site development, subdivision, and technical (construction) codes included in the LDC.  The Library also provides departmental policy memos that address the process by which development applications are reviewed and approved.  The library is organized by topic, code section, and date.

DSD maintains the Code Interpretation Library in consultation with other City departments involved in administering site development regulations.  New interpretations are posted as they’re issued, and the site will be updated regularly to include older interpretations based on ongoing review.

How can I request a code interpretation?

Written code interpretations like those included in this library, are optional tools intended to provide greater clarity for those involved in or affected by the development process. Obtaining a code interpretation is never required to submit a development application, nor is every LDC requirement covered by a written interpretation.

A code interpretation may be requested by City staff or members of the public seeking clarification on LDC regulations administered by DSD.

To request a code interpretation, members of the public may submit this form.
The request should include the following information:

  • A list of the LDC section(s) for which a code interpretation is requested;
  • The reasons why the requestor believes a code interpretation is necessary in order to clarify the listed LDC section(s);
  • Examples, if the requestor is aware of any,of how the code section(s) have been interpreted or applied; and
  • Any additional information the requestor believes is relevant to the proper interpretation of the listed LDC section(s).
How does DSD issue code interpretations?

Upon receiving a request for a code interpretation, the Building Official or Development Officer will issue an interpretation within 60 calendar days or explain why an interpretation will not be issued.  DSD’s decision not to issue an interpretation is final.

DSD may also issue code interpretations on its own initiative.  All interpretations, whether issued in response to a request or at the City’s initiative, will be emailed to the DSD Listserve and Community Registry and published on the Code Interpretation Library.

For general questions about the process, submit this form.

What is the effect of a code interpretation?   

Once a code interpretation is issued, DSD will follow the interpretation unless Council amends the LDC section(s) for which the interpretation was issued or DSD determines that an interpretation was issued in error.  If a code interpretation is determined to conflict with the Land Development Code (LDC) or other applicable regulation, the LDC controls over the code interpretation.


 

Archived Interpretations

Archived interpretations are provided for historical reference and are not applicable to projects subject to more recent regulations.


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