Intro to Austin’s Land Development Code

A brief introduction to Austin’s Land Development Code rewrite.

What is it?

Our land development code is the city’s rules for what we’re allowed to build – apartments, duplexes, restaurants, and offices – where we’re allowed to build them, and how much we’re allowed to build.

The current land development code, ie the rules we’re operating under today, was written in 1984. Alot has changed about Austin since then so the city is rewriting the code to do a better job guiding growth and development.

Why is it important?

First and foremost, the code will determine how much housing we can build in Austin, which determines how many people can affordably live in Austin.

Second, the types of homes we build and where we build them determine where and how people in Austin live. For example, if we can build more apartments in central Austin, then more people can live in central Austin with fast and affordable access to job centers like downtown. 

When is it happening?

City staff will release a draft of the code on October 4th. This is only a draft and will not take effect until City Council votes to approve the code, which will likely happen between January and March of 2020.

You can see the full timeline here.

What do we want?

Simply stated we want a land development code that lets us build more types of housing throughout Austin and particularly in central Austin where many people want to live, so our city can become affordable, environmentally sustainable, and full of opportunities for everyone.

Want to learn more?

News outlets

Official documents

If you like to get involved, joins us at one of our events or shoot us an email at