It’s official: CodeNext is dead


With a unanimous vote Thursday, the Austin City Council killed off the ambitious rewrite of Austin’s land-development code known as CodeNext.

The controversial project’s demise came with minimal debate as several of council members laid the blame for its failure on a convoluted process that generated widespread skepticism and criticism that ultimately doomed the years-long project.

The final cost to Austin taxpayers for outside consultants’ work on CodeNext rings up at $8,466,520, according to documents from the city’s Planning and Zoning Department.

Even as the council shuttered CodeNext, which aimed to address many of Austin’s most vexing problems, including housing affordability, gentrification and traffic, council members looked for assurances that they had not wasted taxpayer money on the project.

“From my perspective, what we are talking about is a reboot,” said Council Member Ann Kitchen.

City Manager Spencer Cronk has been placed in charge of picking up the pieces of CodeNext and crafting them into a new approach to zoning issues. Cronk should come back to the council with his idea about how to move forward in early 2019.



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