August 2, 2018
Austin Mayor Steve Adler asked the city council to consider ending CodeNEXT, the project launched in 2013 to rewrite the land development code. Adler indicated that the process, which has so far cost $8.5 million, is “poison,” and suggested it be scrapped in favor of a “new and different approach that encourages openness, discussion and finding truth,” the mayor posted on a message board to the city council.
Real Estate Council of Austin (RECA) weighed in, noting that each new draft of CodeNEXT “failed to realistically and substantially encourage more affordable housing,” and failed to simplify the overall process of permitting and development. “On something as important and complex as the land development code, getting it right is much more important than getting something passed quickly,” RECA noted, adding that the organization had volunteered thousands of hours to review the code, provide technical analysis and submit detailed revisions, all of which were ignored.
CodeNEXT was a recommendation from Imagination Austin which was, in turn, the city’s 30-year comprehensive plan. The resulting process has led to divisions and debates, including whether residents should decide future code rewrites.
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