AUSTIN, Texas — Activists who want to see CodeNEXT on the ballot in November hit a snag at Thursday's City Council meeting.

The City Council voted 6-4 not to grant the wish of the estimated 26,174 valid signatures from Austin voters who signed a petition with the hope of putting CodeNEXT on the ballot and force a citywide vote on any overhaul of the city’s land development code.

Organizers behind that petition said rewriting the city code should fall in the hands of voters.


Mayor Adler said forcing a vote could leave out communities of color who usually don't show up at the ballots. Activists insist the CodeNEXT process hasn't been totally transparent.

"Frankly I think the city's process has been broken," Fred Lewis, an attorney and treasurer of the political action committee Let Us Vote Austin said. "I don't think the city has listened to the public and this is a way for the public to vote on CodeNEXT and ensure that it represents and reflect their values."

The agenda item was pulled for discussion by Councilmember Alison Alter. Lewis' group has says they'll sue the city if it doesn't send the measure to a vote.