After more than 20 hours of deliberation, the Austin City Council approved the first reading of the revised land development code last Wednesday. The approval is the first of three required votes to pass the revised code and zoning maps.
The 7-4 approval comes after more than three consecutive days of discussion. Council members were tasked with combing through more than 200 amendments covering a range of topics like parking minimums and flood prevention.
The primary goal of the revised code is to fix “missing middle” housing, which is the gap between single-family homes and high-rise condos. If passed, the code would allow zoning for townhomes, duplexes and triplexes in an effort to create dense, affordable communities.
The code’s second reading is planned for early February and the third as soon as late March. This timeline pushes the final approval date further than the city’s initial plan to finalize the code by early to mid-January. If the draft receives all three required votes, it would be the first time the city has successfully revised the development code since its release in 1984.
Though the code has not been revised in more than 30 years, it has experienced more than 100 amendments, creating a web of legislation that complicates building in Austin city limits. City officials have tried to revise the land development code since the release of Imagine Austin in 2012. The current attempt comes more than a year after the Austin City Council rejected CodeNEXT – the city’s previous attempt to revise the code.
The engineers at Jones|Carter remain up to date on local development regulations for cities and municipalities throughout Texas. You can consult with our Land Development team to learn about how the code could impact your next development.