Austin home to many vibrant communities. Through the CodeNEXT process, we want to support existing neighborhoods and businesses, preserve the character of our diverse areas, and manage future growth.

Community development goals addressed in CodeNEXT include:

  • Strengthening Neighborhoods

  • Enabling Small Enterprises

  • Right-sizing Zones

  • Creating Diverse Places

  • Anticipating Future Growth

Challenges with the current code:

  • Current base zones lack adequate regulations to ensure development is compatible with its context, resulting in the application of complex overlays and ad-hoc rezonings that add to the complexity of the code.

  • Development is unpredictable for neighbors and challenging for property owners due to multiple rounds of review and various layers of regulation that were created to bolster inadequate base zones.

  • Small businesses face hurdles to build or expand due to land use conflicts and zones that disincentivize spaces suitable for small-scale enterprises in locations convenient to residents.

  • The existing code incentivizes low-density suburban neighborhoods and high-density urban corridors, but discourages the types of places that could exist between these two extremes.

  • Throughout the last 30 years, Austin has faced explosive population growth, much of which has been accommodated through sprawl that strains infrastructure and exacerbates traffic and mobility challenges.

Proposed solutions in the new code:

  • More refined zoning districts that better reflect the variety of conditions found in Austin neighborhoods, and the integration of existing tools, such as Residential Design Standards, to make development more compatible and predictable.

  • Small businesses are allowed by-right or with staff review in more zones in the new code, and standards have been adjusted to remove conflicts and encourage the provision of spaces suitable for small-scale enterprises.

  • Regulations to ensure compatibility with the existing context and character have been embedded into base zones, including finer-grain regulations for building form, size, and placement, which helps minimize the need for additional overlays.

  • By refining existing zones and adding new zones, the new code allows for the creation of more diverse places with a variety of housing types in a range of suburban and urban settings.

  • The new code encourages compact growth along corridors and centers, allows neighborhoods to grow intentionally while maintaining their distinct character, and creates walkable places where new development occurs.


WATCH:  CodeTALK on Community Character (April 19, 2017)