AUSTIN, Texas -- More than 100 people met at Austin City Hall Saturday to speak for and against CodeNEXT.
The public hearing was the second and last time residents could speak to city council about their concerns.
"Sometimes they say, 'What can we do? We are fighting money,'" said Susana Almanza, the director of People Organized in Defense of the Earth and her Resources (PODER).
Almanza has lived in East Austin for her entire life. She worked with PODER, a grassroots organization fighting social justice issues like gentrification, for more than 20 years.
"CodeNEXT Draft 3 will displace lower income people, including seniors, people of color, and working families," she said to the council.
It was residents’ last shot to make the council listen before a decision is made on CodeNEXT, a re-write to the city's development code. The zoning overhaul is meant to address the rapid growth in Austin, as well as affordability. Some believe it will do the opposite.
"Our neighborhoods are being high-densified under CodeNEXT, and what does that mean? That means we are going to be displaced by higher development by luxury apartments, hotels, and eateries," said Almanza.
Florence Briceño's story with gentrification is personal. She grew up in her grandmother's home on Rainey Street. After her grandparents spent 60 years in their home, in the early 2000s, they were pressured to sell.
"They purchased a home in North Austin, but it wasn't the same for them. They missed their families. They missed their neighborhood. They missed the community," said Briceño.
The community that Briceno hopes to preserve, before more families she fears, are displaced. Opponents of CodeNEXT are suing the city to put the final decision in the hands of voters on the November ballot.