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An Overview of CodeNext

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An overview of CodeNEXT Draft 3 by Bobby Levinski at the March meeting of the Lost Creek Civic Organization.

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An Overview of CodeNext

  1. 1. An Overview of CodeNEXT: Draft 3 Presentation to the Lost Creek Civic Organization, March 1, 2018
  2. 2. Quick Review of CodeNEXT:  CodeNEXT is the current proposed rewrite to the City’s Land Development Code  Land DevelopmentCode addresses:  Zoning (what can be built)  Subdvisions (how many lots can be created)  Environmental Protectionts (how do we protect our trees, water quality, creeks, etc.)  Parkland Dedication and Open Space (whether developers should contribute towards parkland resources and preserve open space)  Affordable Housing (what kind of housing is developed and whether units must be set aside for lower-income households)  Public Input Process (how residents can offer input into changes within their neighborhoods)  Meant to implement the City’s comprehensive plan
  3. 3. Wait. What is the Comprehensive Plan?  In 2012, the City Council adopted our latest comprehensive plan known as “Imagine Austin”  Imagine Austin formally adopts the City’s overall policies and provides guidance to the City Council and City Manager on how they should (ps., it’s about more than just land use!)  It incorporates the city’s adopted master plans (e.g., Strategic Mobility Plan) and neighborhood plans (e.g., Oak Hill Combined Neighborhood Plan)  Growth Concept Map is an overall guide
  4. 4. Why are people so upset with CodeNEXT?
  5. 5. Draft 2 was incomplete, inadequate and poorly drafted.  Entire sections of the draft code were missing (e.g., Chapter 23-8 (Signage), Chapter 23-11 (Technical Codes), and Chapter 23-4D-8090 (Former Title 25 (F25) Zone standards)  Terminology was muddled (e.g., the newly proposed zoning category RM4A allows the development of “Rowhouse: Large”, but no such building form is defined  Standards were inconsistent from one section to the next (e.g., ADUs appear to be capped at 1100 sq. ft. in some sections and 1150 sq. ft. in others)  No resource tracking changes from the current code to what was proposed  After 5 years and $8+ million, the public deserves a better product  Draft 3 is getting better, but we’re struggling to know what is an error and what is intentional
  6. 6. General Topic Overview  Residential Zoning  Changes for Lost Creek  Compatibility Standards  Overall Growth  Dark Skies  Wildfire Risks  Bars / Liquor Stores  Parking  Flooding
  7. 7. Residential Zones  Currently, there are 8 existing “single-family” zoning districts, ranging from RR (Rural Residence) to SF-6 (Highest Density Single-Family)  Under CNv3, there are 17 different “R” zoning categories  Lot sizes have generally been reduced  SF-2 (50’ min lot width)R1B (45’ min lot width)  SF-3 (50’ min lot width)R2B (25’ min lot width  Extra provisions to narrow lots
  8. 8. Residential Zones (cont.)
  9. 9. What is changing in Lost Creek? Generally:  I-SF-2R1B (lot sizes reduced to 5,000 sq ft; would allow a house and an accessory dwelling unit (“ADU”) on a lot greater than 15,000 sq. ft.)  I-RRRM1A (multi-family up to 12 units/acre as base; 30 units/acre with affordable housing bonus)  LOMU2A-A (multi-family up to 18 units/acre as base; 36 units/acre with affordable housing bonus) Anticipated Answer to Question: City does not enforce private deed restrictions.
  10. 10. Compatibility Standards  CodeNEXT Draft 3 would eliminate all compatibility standards beyond 100 ft from a single-family residence  Under current compatibility standards, a 120 ft. tall building would have to be 540 ft. from a single-family residence  In some cases, CodeNEXT Draft 3 would allow an 80 ft (7-8 stories tall) tower up to 50 ft from a single-family home (see, e.g., RM4A)  Massive increases in entitlements without any exchange of community benefit Current Compatibility Standards 40’ height at 100’ CodeNEXT V3 Compatibility Unlimited height at 100’; shown 120’ tall
  11. 11. CodeNEXT Development Projections for Next 10 years
  12. 12. Are Dark Skies Addressed?  23-4E-2: Outdoor Lighting addresses some outdoor lighting issues  Only applies to developments that trigger a site plan  Light fixtures are required to be fully shielded and have full cut off  Flood-lighting allowed through alternative compliance  Illuminations of flag poles and signs allowed if not aimed “excessively” at the sky or onto neighboring properties  No specific “Dark Skies” overlay
  13. 13. What about wildfire mitigation?  There have been some tweaks included in CNv3 to include modifications for wildfire risks:  Adds wildfire hazards as consideration for right-of-way configuration (23-9B-1080 )  Subdivisions in wildfire risk areas will require two access points (23-9H-1030)  Additional conversation needed on Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Code  No currently part of CodeNEXT; being considered as a technical code  Addresses building standards and permitting review  Up to 60% of the City would fall under its purview
  14. 14. Bars / Nightclubs  Under current code, bars / nightclubs outside CBD would need both CS-1 zoning and get a conditional use permit (CUP) approved by the Land Use Commission  Under CodeNEXT Draft 2, Bars / Nightclubs split into two categories:  Level 1: No outdoor seating; No late-hours permits  Level 2: Outdoor Seating; Open until 2am
  15. 15. Parking  Residential. On-site parking requirement is cut to one parking space per dwelling unit - half of what is required today for single family homes.  Commercial. At the same time that CodeNEXT is increasing the volume of commercial traffic generated by zoning districts in and around neighborhoods, it is reducing the parking requirement for those uses. *These reduced parking requirements will be eligible for additional cumulative reductions of up to 40% for a variety of reasons such as proximity to a corridor (e.g. a major arterial), or bike racks or off-site parking 1,000 feet away.
  16. 16. Flooding  Some improvements:  requiring redevelopment to address drainage  Must match peak flow for undeveloped conditions (does not address volume)  Green infrastructure (beneficial use of stormwater)  Engineer certification required to prove new single-family wouldn’t “flood your neighbor”  Some areas of disagreement:  Impervious cover (no reductions; location placed; and functional equivalencies)  Review/standards applicable to 3-6 units  Should standards vary depending on known localized flooding conditions?
  17. 17. Questions?  Additional resources at: http://www.communitynotcommodity.com/  Please feel free to contact me:  Bobby Levinski, 512-636-7649 or bobby.levinski@gmail.com  Please contact with your comments:  Council Member Ellen Troxclair (District 8): 512-978-2108 or Ellen.Troxclair@austintexas.gov  Mayor Steve Adler (At-Large): 512-978-2100 or Steve.Adler@austintexas.gov  Planning Commission & Zoning and Platting Commission: Staff Liaison Andrew Rivera at Andrew.Rivera@austintexas.gov