Austin's New Land Development Code & It's Economic Impact

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Wanted to see what everyone's thoughts were on the new proposed land development code for Austin, TX. How do you think this will impact the local economy... Do you think this will impact housing/rental prices significantly? Will there be an even higher uptick in building/contractor costs due to even more demand? Do you agree or disagree with what they're proposing?

I am new to Austin and I just bought my first house hack over in Riverside. But it is interesting to think about how many more potential units the proposed code would allow and what the lasting impacts might be. 

Looking forward to hearing what everyone else thinks as well.

I've given up on speculating on unfinished development codes after CodeNext was nixed. I'm still interested in hearing what others think about it, though. Also, congrats on the Riverside property. I have a condo on the east side there and have seen massive appreciation over the last few years.

There is a great grassroots organization here in Austin called AURA. They focus on advocating for improved land use and transportation through policy analysis, public involvement, and political engagement. As soo as the new code draft was released they spent the entire weekend analyzing and commenting on the draft. You can find their high level takeaways in the link below.

@Jacob Pereira Very understandable... Wasn't here for that so maybe I will end up like that. But it does seem like they are trying to expedite the process on it this time around. Looks like they plan to vote on the code in their December meeting.

@Aidan Mosher Wow thanks! Looks like a lot of really great information. It was tough to figure out what all of the new zoning designations meant exactly, so I'm glad someone did it for me haha

It seems like the general take away is that it is much better than any of the CodeNEXT versions (they had three iterations of the new code last year before scrapping it).  

There is still lots of room for improvement but big improvements include: lots of added missing middle options (tri and four plexes are virtually illegal under current code but would be allowed throughout the city), lots of potential for up zoning where it is needed along corridors, lessened parking requirements, no more compatibility setbacks (mostly), and a much better path for multi unit development (current code treats anything with more than two units the same, so I am doing a duplex on a lot with an existing home and a 130 unit SRO and they both have the same site plan process and duration, which is insane) to name a few.  It was supposed to simplify things and at nearly 1500 pages that doesn’t seem to be the case but still lots of much needed change.

I am not holding my breathe either but the noise from council and the committees is that they are going to get it done and fast.  We shall see...

@Timmy Fritz I'm feeling cautiously optimistic this time around. 

I'm personally of the opinion that literally anything is likely to be better than current LDC, but I agree with some of the other feedback in this thread that this is a marked improvement over the final CodeNext draft.  

But as expected, this hasn't stopped the misinformation campaign forces from rallying to thwart it again.  I'm seeing "CodeNext is back to wreck Austin" yard signs already, and considering making a "Current Land Development Code IS wrecking Austin" for my yard.

@Travis Lucy I'd put one of those up. 

I love the "Zoned Out" video going around NextDoor and Facebook that shows interviews with a handful of homeowners (before the draft was even released) telling how the new code is forcing them to leave the city.  If you are reading this, get out there and talk to your neighbors, go to some of the open houses, and help combat the fear mongering machine.

@Trey Farmer I also watched that insanity.  'Evil developers' and the city are trying to force good citizens to tear-down their houses and build bigger!  I'm still baffled as to how and why this stuff exists and perpetuates.

I agree:  if you're an Austinite who would appreciate increased housing options, better affordability nearer to the core, less economic/geographic segregation, and who knows, maybe even a brief reduction in our ever-worsening traffic, support the rewrite!  

The current land code was written in 1984 which was 9 years prior to Dazed and Confused, which came out in 1993. The folks that are against a new land code is out of touch with reality. The city was 392k in population in 1984. In fact, one can even say that they are dazed and confused by all the growth. The reality is that the metro is the fastest growing metros in the US. The city politicians needs to deal with it or get booted out. The problem isn't going away.

I think that multifamily development, public spaces & large commercial development is what makes Austin unique and attractive so like an efficient market the downsides will balance the upside & it will all balance out.

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