Thanks to all who attended the CodeNext listening sessions last month. It's a real sacrifice (for most of us) to spend an evening talking to strangers about a relatively dry topic like the Land Development Code. The listening sessions were fairly well attended, though, the small group discussions were lively and interesting, and the City dutifully recorded the public input.
There are no further public sessions scheduled for the immediate future, other than monthly meetings of the Citizens Advisory Group, which anyone may attend. I do want to highlight opportunities for providing input online for those of you who couldn't attend one of the listening sessions, or did go but felt like you didn't get your say.
First, the City maintains Speak Up Austin!, a web site devoted specifically to citizen input. The City has set up a forum there for comments on the new Code. A handful of people have commented to date.
Second, staff is soliciting articles (Statesman editorial-length) to publish on the CodeNext page. Depending on the number submitted, staff may rotate them.
Third, staff welcomes "white papers." There is no prescribed format or length, but try to be succinct. Here is an example by Dave Sullivan, a CAG member and former Chair of the Planning Commission.
Finally, if you want to share a specific experience you've had with the Land Development Code, you might submit a "case study." The idea behind a case study, as I understand it, is to show how the Code works in practice by explaining how it helped or hampered a specific project. Case studies can be useful for illustrating hidden complexities or conflicts within the Code -- e.g., just how hard is it to build a secondary apartment on a small lot in central Austin while complying with McMansion, parking requirements, impervious cover limits, the Heritage Tree Ordinance, etc.?
To give input through Speak Up Austin!, just go to the page linked above. If you want to provide articles, white papers or case studies, email them to email@example.com.