I have no idea how the Land Development Code consultants might go about customizing the Code for different neighborhood types, but Austin's old land development code suggests one interesting possibility.
First, it's necessary to understand the difference between use regulations and site development regulations. Use regulations govern what types of activity can take place on a piece of property; site development regulations govern the size, setbacks and density of the structure.
In the current code, each zoning classification determines both the use and the site development regulations. For example, SF-3, the standard single-family zoning district, specifies the allowable uses of the property (single-family home, duplex, small day care, and a few other things) and the mandatory site development standards (various side setbacks, maximum height, square footage, impervious coverage).
The use regulations and site development regulations were not always commingled in this manner, however. Once upon a time, Austin zoned for use independently of height and density. That is, it had zoning districts that were almost exclusively concerned with uses and it had "height and area districts" that were mainly concerned with the allowable height, setbacks and density. In 1968, we had a "First Height and Area District," a "Second Height and Area District" and so on through the "Sixth Height and Area District." Each had different maximum heights and densities.
In theory, this could allow a lot of customization. The city could allow more density in central neighborhoods, where demand is greatest, without having to create a separate zoning category for each neighborhood. Smaller lots, slightly taller buildings, and slightly denser apartment buildings make more sense in high-demand central neighborhoods, particularly when these high-demand neighborhoods already tend to have smaller lots and slightly denser apartment buildings, if not taller buildings.
Austin eventually abandoned height and area districts. If I had to speculate why, it would be that a given zoning district tended to be associated with a given height and area district, and so there was little customization as a practical matter. Single-family neighborhoods, in particular, were almost always placed into the lease dense First Area and Height District, regardless of where they were. Someone probably eventually figured out that breaking out the use and site development regulations wasn't helping the City planners finesse anything. To the extent that special rules were needed to handle downtown and the neighborhoods immediately surrounding it, it was simpler to create a couple of new zoning districts (CBD and DMU) and just chuck the Height and Area Districts.
Here is the 1968 map of the Height and Area Districts, which supports this thesis.
Here is a close-up of the downtown area. You can see the antecedents of today's CBD districts (the solid-shaded areas) and DMU districts (the areas along West Sixth, just west of CBD).
Most of the rest of the map looks about like the map below, though -- mostly little squares (First Height and Area) for single-family neighborhoods, and something more generous (like the checkerboard pattern, for the Sixth Height and Area) for commercial uses:
Again, the City planners likely concluded that maintaining two separate maps just wasn't worth the trouble.
Perhaps this was an idea ahead of its time, though. Austin was still a pretty small city back in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. There was less diversity in neighborhood types. Perhaps its worth thinking about separating our use and development regulations again, allowing the latter to be calibrated for different types of neighborhoods.
H/t to the Austin History Center, for help locating and reproducing these maps.