CodeNEXT topics from CM Houston

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Christopher Hutchins
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:58 pm

CodeNEXT topics from CM Houston

Post by Christopher Hutchins » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:34 pm


The Draft 3 zoning chapter and map, as well as the program of recommendations put forth by the Planning Commission, are extremely challenging for members of the community who do not have the time, language or access to industry professionals to assist them understand the nuances of the intent and/or consequences of the third draft.

With that said, I would like to identify a few topics for discussion and hope that the answers to these questions will help clarify what is proposed and how these regulations may impact our community.

Eastern Crescent Gentrification Protection Zone

• Please describe the boundaries of the Eastern Crescent Gentrification Protection Zone, as recommended by the Planning Commission.

• Please identify tools in your toolbox that would be most effective in mitigating gentrification and displacement.

• How does enabling an increase in maximum heights and densities along corridors, that have gentrified or are poised to gentrify, and allowing apartment buildings and parking facilities in place of, next to and/or across the block from single family zoning in the Eastern Crescent not trigger turnover and displacement?

• Why are census tracts in Central East Austin closest to downtown economic pressures excluded?

Neighborhood Conservation Combining Districts

• Should NCCDs be a tool that is available to neighborhoods across the city?
As a City committed to equity and preserving what makes Austin unique, it appears that NCCDs should be carried forward in substance and listed among the overlays, such as Neighborhood Plans and Small Area Plans. Not all neighborhoods can meet the requirements for a local historic district, but that does not mean they aren’t worth of conserving.

• What is the process if a property owner within an NCCD wants to rezone their property? Will that owner be able to choose zones from the current Code or just new ones? What limitations, if any, are there on the number of rezonings per year within a given NCCD in Draft 3?

• Is it possible to shift focus from small and intermediate corridors to those identify in Imagine Austin in addition to the Activity Centers where capacity demands can be coupled with access to transit hubs?

• How will compatibility be handled for properties within the NCCD and just outside of the district?

Other Topics:

• Mapping is equally important if not more important than text. This Council must vote on a map and we should begin with the Draft 3 Map recommended by Staff map.

• What tools or policies can be activated in addition to zoning to promote a change of focus?

• The Imagine Austin Growth Concept Map identifies Job and Activity Centers—Regional, Town and Neighborhood—across the city. How do we best incentivize the development in those activity centers in the near to mid-term to promote housing, amenities and jobs in close proximity?

• Are there existing centers along our major corridors that haven’t been mapped to absorb the projected growth?

Council should not adopt the Transportation Criteria Manual or the Sign Chapter until there has been significant time for review and public comment on both. There are aspects in these documents that demonstrate a lack of sufficient review and input.