Frequently Asked Questions

Have a general question about the proposed Land Development Code? Heard something about the project and not sure if it’s right? Submit your question and help continue to build the FAQs.

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As a property owner, may I file a protest to the zoning changes being proposed under the Land Development Code Revision, as I could with a standard zoning change in my area?

No, zoning protests may not be used to protest broad legislative amendments, including comprehensive revisions such as the revision of the entire Land Development Code.  The zoning protest rights established in state law provide a mechanism for protesting zoning cases involving individual properties or a limited area.  To share your concerns about the comprehensive Land Development Code Revision, please consider attending the Planning Commission Public Hearing and City Council meetings on this topic.  For a list of upcoming events, including Planning Commission and City Council meetings on this topic, please visit the Land Development Code Revision Events page.

For standard zoning changes, Austin City Code limits valid petition rights to rezoning requests. For more information about petition rights in standard zoning cases, please visit Petition Rights – Zoning Petition.[


[collapse title="How will the community be involved in the process?"]

Public activities will occur in October through Open Houses (October 19 and 23), Office Hours, and a Planning Commission Public Hearing on October 26. Additional opportunities will be posted on our website once they are confirmed.

How will public comments be used?

Since beginning work on the draft Code in spring 2019, staff has considered a wide range of community input and will continue to do so following release of the draft Code in October.  The staff report accompanying the draft Code will highlight ways in which, consistent with Council direction, the draft Code reflects community input on critical issues. 

How will boards and commissions be involved in the process? What happened to the recommendations they passed about the previous efforts?

Council directed staff to review past Boards and Commissions recommendations in the development of the LDC Code Revision. Additionally, staff will provide a response to these recommendations as part of the Staff Report (published October 4). Planning Commission public hearing is scheduled for October 26.

How does the LDC Revision relate to the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan?

Imagine Austin implementation framework includes five points: education and outreach, capital investments, partnerships, regulations, and internal alignment. The Land Development Code Revision falls under the regulation framework component.

Where can I find a map, and what do the colors mean? Are there shapefiles available?

The maps can be found on our website Each of the colors corresponds to a zone, such as R1, RM1, and MU1. The Proposed Zoning Map allows you to click on specific properties to view zoning. PDF maps are also available by district and citywide. These maps have a traditional legend to indicate zones. Yes, Shapefiles have been uploaded to the website.


Zoning (Transition Areas/Missing Middle Housing)

Why do SF-1, SF-2, and SF-3 often get remapped to R2?

R2 is often the single closest equivalent zone for all three. The A,B, or C after the R2 is determined based on contextual factors such as lot size, location, and surrounding built environment.

What happens to single-family homes, in the transition area, impacted by natural or otherwise unanticipated disasters (such as fire)?

Under the proposal discussed by staff at a recent Council work session, a homeowner could rebuild a damaged single-family structure up to the size permitted in zones that allow development of new single-family uses.

Assuming I live in a single-family home in a transition zone and I decide to sell the home as a single-family home to someone who wants to buy it and keep it as a single-family home, can I sell it and can the other person buy it and keep it single-family?


In the transition areas, if you just want to rebuild your single family home and one accessory dwelling unit, can you do this?

Yes, you can choose to rebuild your single family home (i.e. one unit), or if you chose, you can add an additional unit. Once an additional unit is added to the property, based on the owner’s choice, a single family unit would no longer be permitted. 

What impact will the new zoning regulations have on deed restrictions?

Private deed restrictions are a civil matter enforced by the parties named in the deed such as HOAs or neighborhood associations; neither current or proposed zoning changes this arrangement. The City only enforces deed restrictions the City is a party to. 

What happened to the -NP or -CO in the zoning string?

The -NP overlay, indicating a neighborhood plan for a particular area, still exists but the -NP in not shown on the zoning map. However, the neighborhood plans are still active as part of a GIS layer in the way that other overlays, such as floodplains, are treated today. A property that today has a -CO in the zoning string, indicating a conditional overlay, was addressed in one of two ways in the proposed LDC revision. One outcome is that the property was given a new zoning category that addresses the major characteristics of the -CO (i.e. prohibited uses). The second outcome is a F25 zone, indicating an extremely complex -CO that could not be adequately addressed by the new zoning categories.

What is a preservation incentive?

The Preservation Incentive is a new function in the proposed land development code. If an existing dwelling unit that is at least 30 years old is preserved on the original site, additional FAR is granted for additional dwelling units.

How are ADUs counted? If I have a house and an ADU and decide to sell, do I have to sell the house and ADU separately?

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are allowed in all residential house-scale zones. The ADU is considered another dwelling unit on the lot; if a property owner were to sell a property with a house and ADU, the single-family house and the ADU could be sold together on one lot.

Do I have to build the maximum number of allowed dwelling units on my lot?

No- the number of allowed lots is a maximum. You may choose to have fewer units.

How will development review staff decide between whether a project is a duplex or an internal accessory dwelling unit?

According to the October 2019 LDC Revision Draft, an accessory dwelling unit is limited to a maximum of 1,100 square feet. If the attached unit is larger than 1,100 sq. ft., it would be considered a duplex rather than an internal accessory dwelling unit.



What is Functional Green?

Functional Green refers to the set of landscape code standards applicable to sites with 80 percent impervious cover or greater or less than 1 acre in size. The Functional Green Score, which will be described in the Environmental Criteria Manual, measures the total amount of ecosystem services provided by the landscape elements proposed for a development site.


Affordable Housing

Are there studies about the relationship between housing supply and affordability?

There are multiple studies available on this subject, for example: NYU published the following academic research in 2018.

Is there a revised affordable housing bonus program coming out on October 4?

Yes, the affordable housing bonus program is being calibrated concurrently with the LDC Revision.

How is affordable housing defined in the new code? Is there a fee-in-lieu option?

The proposed code sets income requirements for ownership housing units at 80% of the median family income and rental housing units at 60% of the median family income. As with current code, there is a fee-in-lieu option in the proposed land development code revision. The process for fee-in-lieu will be described in the Affordable Housing Criteria Manual.


Transportation & Parking

What are the proposed parking requirements for single family, duplex, accessory dwelling units, and missing middle in the LDC Revision?

According to Table 23-3C-3040(A) in the October 2019 LDC Revision Draft, an accessory dwelling unit does not have required parking. The rest of the residential house-scale zones require one parking space per unit.
There are some exceptions to this regulation, however. Table 23-3D-2050(A) describes these exceptions.

  • Developments located within 1/4 mile of a transit corridor or center that meet certain requirements described in Subsection 23-3D-2050(B)(1)(b) can receive a reduction of up to 100% of the required parking. Examples of the requirements for the parking reduction include connection to a corridor by an accessible sidewalk system or at least a "high" rating in the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan's Sidewalk Prioritization Map.
  • Developments located within 1/2 mile of  transit corridor or center that do not meet the standards of Subsection 23-3D-2050(B)(1)(b), can receive a reduction of up to 50%.

How are parking requirements applied in residential zones?

According to the October 2019 LDC Revision Draft, within the residential house-scale zones the parking requirements are assigned by use. For example, a residential use usually requires one parking space per unit while a senior/retirement housing use would require .8 parking spaces per unit. 

Do parking maximums apply to residential uses, or only commercial?

According to the October 2019 LDC Revision Draft, the parking requirements for residential house-scale zones include parking maximums for specific types of development, as described in Subsection 23-3C-3040(B):

  • Developments over 10,000 sq. ft. in floor area with 25 or more residential units may not exceed 1.75 times the minimum number of parking spaces required.
  • Lots with frontage on a Corridor or within a Center may not exceed 1.25 times the minimum number of parking spaces required.

What are parking maximums, and how do they work in different geographies?

According to the October 2019 LDC Revision Draft, the requirements for parking maximums applicable to residential house-scale zones, multi-unit zones, mixed-use zones, and main street zones are:

  • Developments over 10,000 sq. ft. in floor area with 25 or more residential units may not exceed 1.75 times the minimum number of parking spaces required.
  • Lots with frontage on a Corridor or within a Center may not exceed 1.25 times the minimum number of parking spaces required.

For regional center zones, a development over 10,000 sq. ft. in floor area or one with 25 or more residential units may not exceed the minimum number of required spaces. This is described in Subsection 23-3C-7040(B)(1).