CodeNEXT Draft 3 Released

Neighbors,

CodeNEXT Draft 3 was released yesterday. It has some substantial differences from Draft 2 and includes new maps.

https://www.austintexas.gov/codenext

Curious to get feedback and see if FoZ wants to have any stated positions to share with boards/commissions/council and the media.

Mary

Hey @mary.s.owens thanks for the heads up :slight_smile:

So if we do want to take a position - whoever wants to take the initiative can post the suggested position in the “proposed foz positions” category. There the position is debated and the language to vote on is hashed out. At any point a board member can nominate that it be put to a vote and it is then sent out to the members to vote on to become a foz official position or not.

posted on ZNA group today:

(This is from Community Not Commodity via actionnetwork.org. Text forwarded by L. Atherton. See zilkerneighborhood.org for the latest map of CodeNext zoning within ZNA.)

The City of Austin staff has shamefully manipulated the media and public on CodeNEXT Draft 3.

On Monday, City staff misled the media and the public about the content of CodeNEXT 3 to obtain soothing but false headlines that CodeNEXT would change little for neighborhoods. Like a politician burying bad news, City staff gave the media copies of the over 1,500-page Draft 3 on the Friday before, put their staff disingenuous “spin” on it, and released CodeNEXT to the public at 5 pm Monday. This ensured that the public would not have time to comment and that Tuesday’sheadlines would be false. “The community cannot work with City staff, because there is no trust. This is just one more example of a long series of manipulations and misrepresentations. This is why the public must be able to vote on CodeNEXT,” says attorney and President of Community Not Commodity Fred Lewis.

The staff-manipulated headline that CodeNEXT 3 would change little was false:

CodeNEXT V3 does NOT protect neighborhood integrity, allowing 2 units on 3,500 square feet of land, which encourages profitable re-subdivision in many single-family neighborhoods, adding parked cars to streets, and gutting compatibility standards. “Code Next does not protect neighborhood integrity, it ignites demolition and displacement of residents,” says Barbara McArthur, CodeNEXT expert.

CodeNEXT V3 does NOT preserve neighborhood plans, overriding them with increased density, more commercial uses, and more bars and brew pubs. Mike Hebert, a lawyer and neighborhood advocate, states, “CodeNEXT is dismissive of neighborhood plans and public input.”

CodeNEXT V3 does NOT prevent displacement and gentrification, adopting no tools that would restrict market forces in middle- and low-income gentrifying neighborhoods. Housing expert and head of the Save Montopolis Negro School Coalition Dr. Fred McGhee notes that “CodeNEXT does nothing to prevent displacement on the Eastside; it would accelerate it, wiping out our communities.”

**Stay tuned. **Community Not Commodity’s experts will be digging through CodeNEXT’s 1,500-plus pages to unearth the buried landmines and undisclosed policy changes. Since the City staff refuses to provide a standard chart showing what has been changed from the current code, there is no transparency or accountability. “With no trust and no transparency, the City staff has irreparably broken this unethical CodeNEXT process,” said Fred Lewis.

I find it interesting that the forces at play (ANC and CnC) that have hijacked CodeNext and ensured it is watered down to almost the status quo are not even satisfied with that. 4 years and 8 million dollars and they want to drag the process out even more in the name of “protecting the neighborhoods” with the actual effect of driving up the cost of housing and limiting the housing options available in Austin. It is sad that we will be dealing with the negative repercussions long after these folks are gone or have moved on.

If I weren’t banned from the Lorraine Atherton’s Zilker Listserve I’d love to respond with the following. Maybe someone who isn’t banned will post for me.

“The City of Austin staff has shamefully manipulated the media and public on CodeNEXT Draft 3.”

If anyone is manipulating information it is the fear mongering being perpetuated by Community Not Commodity and the Austin Neighborhood Council. Let’s look at how the items mentioned will impact Zilker.

CodeNEXT V3 does NOT protect neighborhood integrity, allowing 2 units on 3,500 square feet of land which encourages profitable re-subdivision in many single-family neighborhoods.

CodeNEXT introduces a new concept “Single Family Attached”. This is the A/B duplex type condos we currently have, but instead of being sub-divided via a condo regime filed with Travis County they are sub-divided by the City. To build “Single Family Attached” a developer needs to divide a 7000sqft lot. A developer can ALREADY re-subdivide a 7000sqft lot with either an A/B condo or house/ADU.

The “bonus” option introduced by CodeNEXT in R2C (SF3 equivalent) is a developer can divide a 7000sqft lot into two, and then build 1/2 of an “attached single-family house” on each and a small ADU. The result is 4 dwelling units across 3 structures on 2 lots. CodeNEXT allows builders to put more units, without increasing the sqft built on the lot.

For those who are visually included HERE is a chart.

CodeNEXT V3 does NOT preserve neighborhood plans,

Zilker has no neighborhood plan because the ZNA and City of Austin could never agree on one. This point is moot for our neighborhood. If anything this is a win for Zilker because we have the opportunity to re-engage the City and create a small area plan along with other nearby neighborhoods.

CodeNEXT V3 does NOT prevent displacement and gentrification, adopting no tools that would restrict market forces in middle- and low-income gentrifying neighborhoods.

The current Land Development Code also does nothing to prevent displacement and gentrification. Can someone provide some ideas of how re-development and gentrification could be prevented? Keep in mind Austin is in the State of Texas (very pro-property rights) and in the USA (a capitalist country).

My 2 cents, CodeNEXT is roughly equivalent to what we have now. There are slightly lower parking restrictions. ADUs can (finally) be in front of primary structures allowing for preservation of existing little houses on big lots. The code is more user-friendly and clear.

Thanks for writing, its a good concise summary.

I posted it with some additional thoughts. Lets see if that gets me kicked off.