Viewpoints Q&A: What’s new for CodeNext in 2018? The City Council gives us answers

  • Editorial Board
12:49 p.m Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 Opinion
Jessica Wilson inspects the district maps on display during the CodeNext open house at Hart Elementary in October. CodeNext is the city of Austin’s first revision of its land-use and zoning regulations since the 1980s. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

CodeNext, which is undergoing its third revision since being rolled out in January 2017, remains controversial, confusing and complex. Given that it aims to overhaul Austin’s cumbersome land-use and zoning regulations, some of that was to be expected. But much of the confusion is self-inflicted.

The city marketed CodeNext as a strategic tool in meeting Austin’s ever-increasing demand for housing — particularly, affordable housing. Yet, city officials have not specified how that would be accomplished, even as the Austin City Council rushes to finish the job ahead of 2018 elections in which the mayor and five members are on the ballot.

The rush to pass something should be tempered by the magnitude of the challenge. The zoning-code revision is perhaps the single-most important task council members will tackle during their tenure, influencing what gets built and where, the affordability of homes and neighborhoods, and the city’s economic, social and racial diversity for decades.

How would CodeNext help the traffic congestion crisis in Austin? Does the council favor sending it to referendum? We raised some of those issues with council members. READ WHAT THEY SAID:

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