AUSTIN, Texas -- When draft two of CodeNEXT was released neighborhood preservationists saw a glaring problem.
“R-3 zoning would have dramatically changed the internals of a neighborhood,” said District 10 resident Brad Parsons.
In draft two, R-3 zones were identified as properties that could have had as many as three families on the same lot.
But that language has been largely erased from the newest version of CodeNEXT.
“The R-3 residential zoning has mostly been taken out of the map, and I think that was good and smart of staff and maybe whoever on council influenced that decision,” said Parsons.
In order to find balance between protecting neighborhoods while helping create more housing, planners pointed to new language in the draft to make it easier to build accessory dwelling units, ADUs, otherwise known as garage apartments or granny flats on certain lots.
“It helps with neighborhood character, the accessory dwelling units are a way that we can gradually introduce more growth into some of the city where it’s more difficult to build new housing,” said Planning and Zoning Director Greg Guernsey.
Codenext 3.0 also has more potential for development in previously elusive areas.
“Draft three focuses a lot of our development along our corridors and centers just as it was outlined in Imagine Austin,” said Guernsey.
This iteration of CodeNEXT was originally due last November but longtime Austin residents urged staff to be thoughtful and take the time they need to iron out the details.
“It won’t make a difference if we take an extra six months to institute something that’s going to be used for the next 30 years,” said Parsons.
Draft three will serve as baseline recommendations which the Zoning and Planning, Environment, and Historic Landmark Commissions will use as CodeNEXT moves forward.