How can we build a more affordable city? How can we prevent gentrification and displacement? How can we create a more robust public transit system?
These are the questions Austinites are asking as they examine the second draft of CodeNEXT, which was released earlier this month.
As a reminder… CodeNEXT is the city’s effort to rewrite its land development code, which is basically a rule book for the city, explaining what can be built where. CodeNEXT will determine how Austin looks 10, 15, and even 50 years from now. And it will affect everything from affordability, to transportation, to the environment. In other words, it’s a really big deal.
The first draft of CodeNEXT was released in January. After receiving thousands of public comments, CodeNEXT staffers got to work and published CodeNEXT 2.0 on September 15th.
So what changes are in the new draft? Here are some highlights:
- More housing – According to CodeNEXT staff, the new draft increases the city’s housing capacity from 137,830 units to 160,687 additional units, largely because it allows residential housing in parts of the city that previously only allowed for commercial uses.
- More affordable housing – Again, according to staffers, this new draft allows for the creation of 10,000 more affordable housing units than the first draft. It also opens up about three times as much land to density bonus programs (which allow developers to build more units than what’s normally allowed, as long as they promise to dedicate a certain percentage of them to affordable housing/community purposes).
- District 1 (in East Austin) will likely see the most growth – Estimates show that District 1 will see more development than any other district, with about 32,000 new housing units by 2025 (that’s about 20 percent of the total).
- More missing middle housing – This is housing that isn’t quite single family, but isn’t a large apartment complex either. Missing middle housing include duplexes, triplexes, and row homes. The new draft of CodeNEXT estimates that 24 percent of Austin’s new housing will qualify as missing middle. The previous draft only allowed for 16 percent.
What comes next?
You can look through the new CodeNEXT draft online and make public comments up until October 31st. There will also be six community open house events on the second draft. You can look through a full list of dates here>>
You can also schedule time to meet one-on-one with the CodeNEXT team by signing up for office hours here>>
After this second round of community input is collected, a third draft of CodeNEXT will be published in late November. Austin City Council is expected to approve a final draft in April.