The next round of structured public input on CodeNext will take place in January through "Understanding Community Character Events." The consultant team is in the process of documenting the character of each Austin neighborhood, including things like the type of local street network, the mix of uses, and representative buildings.
The thinking behind this exercise is that perhaps we can do better than a one-size-fits-all land development code. For example, although we have many different flavors of commercial zoning, the overwhelming majority of all single-family housing is zoned either SF-2 or SF-3. The neighborhoods vary drastically, though -- from prototypical suburban neighborhoods, with large lots, curvy streets and low connectivity, to prototypical urban neighborhoods with dense street grids, small lots and a mix of multi-family and commercial uses.
We have done a lot of fine-tuning for individual neighborhoods, but we do it through an assortment of conditional overlays and neighborhood plans. It's a confusing, complicated system that perhaps can be simplified and streamlined.
At this stage, though, the consultants are just trying to identify and document the types of neighborhoods. They need help making sure their analyses match the reality on the ground. These city-sponsored events are your opportunity to provide input, including providing examples of buildings in your neighborhood that you think exemplify its character.
Here's the text of the City's announcement:
The CodeNEXT team will begin the next phase of input— Understanding Community Character—in early 2014, and that’s when things get really interesting. We’re going ask you to go out into your neighborhoods and document the features that make your community unique. What do your homes look like? Your streets? Businesses?
Save the date for the next series of community events:
- Wednesday, January 15, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Crockett High School, 5601 Manchaca Road
- Thursday, January 16, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Murchison Middle School, 3700 N Hills Drive
- Friday, January 24, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m., St. David’s Episcopal Church, 301 E 8th Street
- Saturday, January 25, 10:00 a.m. – noon, ACC Eastview Campus, 3401 Webberville Road