Land Development Code (“LDC”) Work Sessions, Hearings, and 1st Reading

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Steve Adler
Posts: 306
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:12 pm

Land Development Code (“LDC”) Work Sessions, Hearings, and 1st Reading

Post by Steve Adler » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:14 pm


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. I look forward to successful council and public engagement on the LDC this week and next, and this message board post is to suggest how we might proceed. Even with a first reading vote next week, there will still be a few more months of questions, discussion, and changes before final adoption of a new LDC sometime hopefully in February or March of next year.

Tuesday, December 3rd Work Session

We are posted to discuss the LDC as part of our 9 am, regular council work session where it will be the last item considered. We might start the LDC late morning or begin with it after a lunch break. If the LDC item begins at 1 pm and goes until 5 pm, we have a total of 4 hours (240 Minutes) for our discussion.

Staff has requested the first 60 minutes to address:

 Supplemental Report #2
 Property Taxes (FYI, you might wish to look at: ... appraisal/)
 Housing Capacity
 Base Motion Documents (Staff Supplemental Reports and Planning Commission Report)

The second 60 minutes would be for council member questions/comments on the staff presentation (each of us will get five minutes).

We would then have 90 minutes for council members to lay out proposed, 1st reading policy direction with each of us getting 8 minutes to use as we wish as we go through topics as we did during our last LDC work session:

 Residential House Scale Zones (text/map)
 Transition Zones (R4 – RM1; text/map)
 Residential MU, MU, MS, and other zones (text/map)
 Affordable Housing (Density Bonuses, etc)
 Non-Zoning (Drainage, Water Quality, Transportation, Trees, Parkland, Signs, etc)
 Process (Site Plans, Subdivision, Variances, etc)

That will leave 30 minutes to conclude Tuesday’s work session on the process for 1st Reading, with each of us getting 3 minutes. (I again suggest the 1st Reading scope previously offered on the bulletin board (viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1195&sid=706074e952 ... bf54#p2598), as endorsed by some of our colleagues. (See additional process suggestions for 1st Reading later in this post.)

Wednesday, December 4th Work Session

We begin the LDC work session at 12 pm and I suggest we allow four hours (240 minutes) for our discussion. We should again allow staff to take the first hour for presentation (60 minutes). Staff intends to discuss the following topics:

 Supplemental Report #2 (continued from Tuesday work session)
 Revisions to Transition Area Mapping
 Administrative Procedures & Development Review
 Updated Renderings
 Environmental and Watershed Issues

The second 60 minutes would be for council member questions/comments on the staff presentation (each of us will get five minutes).

We would then have 120 minutes for council members to lay out proposed 1st reading policy direction, with each of us getting 10 minutes to use as we wish as we go through the six topics used to organize prior work sessions.

Saturday, December 7th Public Hearing

The public hearing begins at 10 am. Given that we expect a large number to sign up to speak, I suggest we allow all speakers 2 minutes for their comments. I also suggest we plan on continuing the hearing through lunch. We should consider closing speaker sign-ups at 3 pm.

As suggested previously, someone who speaks at the December 7th public hearing and who chooses to speak again during subsequent December meetings on 1st Reading action, should only be allowed 1 minute at those subsequent meetings.

Monday, December 9th meeting (Posted for Action on 1st Reading)

This session begins at 10 am. I suggest we begin the day with public speakers, with each allowed 2 minutes (1 minute if they spoke at the December 7th Public Hearing). We should plan to listen to public testimony though lunch if there are speakers waiting, or otherwise break for lunch about noonish. Again, I suggest we close speaker sign-ups at 3 pm. We will continue as long as we’re being productive.

Once we have finished with public testimony, I plan to recognize a colleague for a base motion to approve on 1st Reading the Staff recommended draft Code Text and Zoning Map, with the Planning Commission’s recommended changes on which the Staff reported they “Agree” in their November 22nd report (which include the recommended changes from staff’s October 25th Supplemental Staff Report #1), plus the changes included in the November 25th Staff Supplemental Report #2.

I will then recognize colleagues in turn and will also follow the topic areas around which we organized the work sessions) for amendments to the base motion, being further direction to staff. Amendments could include other items from the Planning Commission recommendation on which staff (a) did not fully agree, (b) did not oppose, and/or (c) opposed, or other amendments and policy direction posted by council members by noon on Friday, December 6.

We will then take up other amendments and policy direction by council members that had not been posted by noon on Friday, December 6 in turn by topic area. Finally, we will have a vote on the amended main motion.

I would again suggest to my colleagues that it may be best at 1st reading for us to refrain from line by line amendments to the code text or parcel by parcel changes to the zoning map, and reserve such changes to be taken up at 2nd Reading, likely to take place in early February of next year.

Wednesday, December 11th meeting (to be posted for Action on 1st Reading)

In case the Council has not finished its deliberation and action on 1st reading, we will meet on Wednesday, December 11th at beginning at 10 am. We will follow the same format for the Monday, December 9th meeting.

See you all soon. - s

Steve Adler
Posts: 306
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:12 pm

Re: Land Development Code (“LDC”) Work Sessions, Hearings, and 1st Reading

Post by Steve Adler » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:06 am

Given that our meeting last night adjourned late in the evening, let’s move to 4 PM today the posting time for the proposed amendments we will take up first during 1st Reading of the Land Development Code.
Also, please see the message below just received from staff which includes the base motion document. With attachment linked here: ... 00529.docx

Mayor Adler –

Per your request, I’m writing to address the proposed base motion (attached) for Monday and to offer suggestions for moving forward.

The draft motion includes verbatim language from the recommended amendments in the two supplemental staff reports, as well as the Planning Commission recommendations that staff supports.

We have confirmed with the Law Department that council offices may offer amendments to the items included in the base motion, which would have the advantage of grouping amendments by topic. A council-approved amendment would control over any conflicting PC or staff recommendation, whether or not explicitly stated.

As discussed at work session, we think the best approach is for amendments to provide clear direction, but avoid being overly prescriptive or detailed. We will follow up soon with a proposed approach for preparing a revised zoning map following first reading, as well as a process for council offices to propose more specific map amendments in advance of second reading early next year.

Finally, should you wish to share this response to the message board, please emphasize that the LDC Revision Team (including Law) is available to assist all Council offices in reviewing and editing proposed amendments.


Brent D. Lloyd
Development Officer
City of Austin Development Services Department

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