The long, arduous Austin process known as CodeNext has come to an end. On August 9, the City Council voted to end the CodeNext process. This came after a surprising declaration by Mayor Steve Adler on DATE that he saw no path forward for CodeNext and recommended that the Council vote to discontinue the process.
As you probably know, CodeNext was a process developed by the City of Austin to revamp its broken Land Development Code. It was a priority coming out of Imagine Austin and began in DATE as a way to implement the ideas of Imagine Austin.
The process was supposed to be a collaboration between Austin’s residents, business community, and civic institutions to align Austin’s land use standards and regulations with what is important to the community. Unfortunately, as a result of political clashing and differing viewpoints, the project stalled and nothing significant was accomplished. In the end, after all of the fighting and arguing, the City Council decided to pull the plug.
There is no doubt that Austin’s Land Development Code needs a major overhaul. Any developer that has had to deal with zoning and code issues and neighborhood groups setting up roadblocks to growth, knows this. It is, therefore, necessary that Austin again begin its redevelopment of the Code. And doing so while promoting the goals of Imagine Austin is an excellent start.
The changes that the Code needs, however, are significant. Because of this, regardless of how arduous a process it is, the Code needs to be completely revamped. One of the problems with the CodeNext process was that they tried to merely edit and amend the current Code. Unfortunately, that’s just not reasonable with the number of changes that are needed. We, therefore, hope that the City will work on a completely new Code that will help set up Austin for the future growth that we all know is coming.