By Mary Lynne Gibbs • 2018 Director
CodeNext, our Land Development Code (LDC) that is being rewritten will play a major part in our housing industry. This third draft of the city of Austin’s CodeNEXT, “Community not Commodity,” is a plan to rezone Austin and redevelop East and Central Austin. Will we see an increase in gentrification? Will outward migration occur due to lack of affordability? This is one of the issues that this code is looking to address.
Are Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) an option? Allowing an additional unit to one’s property like a garage apartment, tiny home, duplex or granny flat lets the owner have the potential to create additional income and gives more reasonable rent options to tenants. It may give relief to inbound traffic to Central Austin. “Gentrification” was originally coined by a British sociologist, Ruth Glass in 1964 and has been a subject that has impacted cities with growth for years. Austin has seen a growth rate of 241 percent from 1980-2015 and it is not predicted to decrease.
In this latest rewrite, impervious cover is addressed to prevent flooding and mitigate the negative impacts of urbanization on water resources. Austin has adopted surface regulations that limit the ratio of impervious surface to the total site area. Currently each single-family property is required by the LDC to have at least two parking spaces. In this rewrite one may have one parking space and the owner may enjoy that extra space for a playscape, trampoline or garden.
Austin prides itself as being one of the most progressive cities around. Let’s look to preserve our heritage and community. Get involved. This is the first time the LDC has been rewritten in 30 years and will impact our future for years to come. It is one of the most important policy decisions our Austin City Council will make and will impact businesses that are considering coming to our area as well as our neighborhoods. From top to bottom this will impact all our lives. Let’s look for a “Win, Win” where we maintain our culture and allow smart development. For more info, go to EvolveAustin.org or AustinTexas.gov/CodeNEXT.