This is a DRAFT of the Friend of Zilker CodeNEXT Draft 3 Position Paper. Once we have comments on this draft the board will integrate the comments into the draft and all of the Friends of Zilker will get to vote on if they support the position paper, or not. Most of the position paper is a carry forward of the positions voted on previously. The zoning nomenclature has been updated to reflect what is being used in the most recent draft.
Friends of Zilker supports CodeNEXT Draft 3. CodeNEXT includes modest improvements to allow for more housing density, reduce parking infrastructure, and is more organized and usable for a layperson than the current code.
ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS
Friends of Zilker supports changes to ADUs in R2C (23-4D-2120)
- ADUs are allowed on lots 3500 sqft +
- ADUs can be placed in front of primary structure
- Preservation incentive : ADU does not count toward FAR limit when existing house (at least 10 years old) is preserved
- No parking requirement for ADUs
Friends of Zilker supports changes to Duplexes in R2C (23-4D-2120)
- Duplexes allowed on lots 5000 sqft +
- Duplexes can be configured front/back, up/down, left/right
- Duplexes require 1 parking spot per unit
Friends of Zilker supports maintaining status quo on setbacks (23-4D-2120-B) and 23-4E-7070
- Allowing setback averaging gives move development options while maintaining neighborhood character, ie - many streets have average setback of 15’ now which is less than the 25’ standard.
- Removing setback maximum from CodeNEXT allows for more house placement to be most sympathetic to other lot characteristics.
Friends of Zilker supports CodeNEXT reductions in parking requirements for both commercial and residential. (23-4D-2040)
Friends of Zilker does not support the height restrictions in CodeNEXT for R2C (23-4D-2120D)
- Friends of Zilker recommends increasing the maximum height to top plate from 22’ (allows for 2 stories) to 30’ (allows for 3 stories).
FLOOR TO AREA RATIO
Friends of Zilker does not support the FAR in CodeNEXT for R2C (23-4D-2120 A)
- Friends of Zilker recommends increasing FAR from .4 FAR to .5 FAR
- This will resolve the “garage door issue” so people can put doors on carports
- This will allow for all duplexes to have family sized living units (1250 sqft+)
- This will allow for more housing units (ADU’s) on existing lots
Friends of Zilker does not support changes to environmental requirements proposed.
CodeNEXT should not require residential projects that fall within the standard requirements to undergo drainage review and meet “no adverse impact”
Requiring an engineer to stamp a “no adverse impact” shifts the liability for negligence from the City to the engineer and home owner
“No adverse impact” is not currently required for residential development under 45% impervious cover and under .4 FAR
“No adverse impact” study in Zilker for a residential lot was quoted by multiple engineering firms as costing between $5k-50k with the average being $25k. Requiring this type of review increasing housing cost, and provides very little benefit aside from keeping engineers employed.
Requiring commercial re-development to return to “greenfield” is a dramatic change from the status quo and should not be required for the Lamar Corridor.
Requiring commercial developments to return to “greenfield” will increase the number and size of retention ponds which is a poor use of very valuable real estate, and will very likely stall re-development of prime commercial properties.
INCREASE OCCUPANCY LIMITS
Friends of Zilker does not support setting the maximum occupancy of a duplex being nore more than three unrelated adults. (23-4E-7040)
Friends of Zilker believes the goal of CodeNEXT is to increase the number of affordable housing options. A maximum of 3 unrelated adults in a two family use is too few. Additionally, no city government, especially Austin’s, should be in the business of determining what constitutes a “family”. (The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of your type of family.)
Friends of Zilker supports CodeNEXT maintaining the status quo of 45% impervious cover for R2C. (23-40-2120 G)
Flooding is a problem in Zilker, but a reduction of impervious cover on sites as they redevelop will only marginally reduce the risk over the time. Friends of Zilker believes the better solution to resolving flooding is to immediately improve drainage infrastructure for both the North and South Zilker drainage systems by completing Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the 1804 S Lamar Caliber Collision Storm Drain Project ID 20001. (see below)
Stormwater retention to reduce localized flooding can be more efficiently accomodated by regional detention systems and common infrastructure at the point of runoff through green streets and rain gardens in the ROW.
Friends of Zilker would like for following things to be amended in CodeNEXT
Height for R2C (23-4D-2120D)
Increase To Top Plate (max) to 30’ and Overall (max) to 40’
FAR in for R2C (23-4D-2120 A)
Increase max FAR from .4 FAR to .5 FAR
Duplex Occupancy Limit (23-4E-7040)
Change to the lesser of 2 per bedroom or 8 between both dwelling units