AURA is a grassroots, all-volunteer organization that advocates for an Austin that is inclusive, open to change, and welcoming to everyone.
Unfortunately, the second draft of the new Land Development Code rewrite is a significant step backward from the first. Despite council passing many important pro-housing amendments, significant resolutions and goals were either not incorporated, or rolled back entirely. Meanwhile, the current draft includes changes from the first draft that ignore or exacerbate our city’s housing crisis that are not referenced anywhere in any council directives.
In particular, we were disappointed to see the following:
The rollback of transition zones in Central and West Austin.
We believe this is directly counter to council’s directive to increase capacity in Central and West Austin, and counter the intent of council’s May 2019 resolution to increase opportunities for everyone in these high-opportunity areas.
The effective decrease in occupancy limits.
Our interpretation of the second draft is that The Group Residential and Co-housing use definitions have changed in such a way that makes their total occupancy 1/3 of a standard by-right development.
We cannot find any council direction to suggest that occupancy limits should be decreased from the current code, much less the first draft of the rewrite.
The status quo is broken and we need to take strong confident steps forward to address our housing crisis. We believe that council can address these issues, and other discrepancies, from the dais on the second readings. We look forward to working with them to create a new code that all proponents of affordability, sustainability, and equity can proudly support.
“Given the results of the 2018 election, City Council knows they have a mandate to pass a new Land Development Code as soon as possible. We encourage them to continue to listen to the truly progressive voices that elected them and deliver a code that meaningfully increases the supply and diversity of housing, particularly in central Austin.”Kevin McLaughlin, Chair AURA Land Use Committee
Kevin McLaughlin, Chair AURA Land Use Committee