CodeNEXT comments needed!

A number of Northwood neighbors and others from District 7 attended the May 9 CodeNEXT meeting with Council Member Pool and her staff to learn about the changes and ask questions. The speakers stressed that they want feedback now; changes have been made based on feedback.
To review the code and made comments go to codenext.civicomment.org/. The main CodeNEXT page is www.austintexas.gov/department/codenext. And side by side maps of current and proposed zoning are available at codenext.engagingplans.org/codenext-comparison-map?mc_cid=34c2a62560&mc_eid=e9880136d2

Please review the maps and look for any corrections. it was noted at the meeting that a section of Walnut Creek had been rezoned, when it should have remained open space. Please make comments on any topics on the website and provide any feedback.

A big concern

Code Next proposes a reduction in the required notification for public hearings for zonings and other development applications. Currently, notice is required to be mailed a minimum of 15 days prior to the public hearing. The code revisions reduce that period to 7 days. 7 days doesn’t provide enough time for an organized neighborhood response. As we all know, our response to the apartments took much longer to gather the petitions and other information. The best way to indicate your concerns about this is adding comments at  codenext.civicomment.org/

Additional observations

 The map is divided in to “transect zones” and “non-transect zones”, with most of the inner core located in the “transect zone”, which allows for higher density development. Our area is in the “non-transect zone”, which allows less dense projects than areas in the transect zone.

The changes for our area are minimal, and the apartments will not change. The one big change is setbacks for commercial properties, which shouldn’t impact us too much, but may impact development of two properties on the north side of Northwood, the KAHL property and the Fricke property if they were to go commercial. The compatibility standards are proposed to be reduced as well, which would allow for higher density development closer to the residential property lines.

The parking requirements for residential and commercial properties are being reduced, which could create parking problems for future developments.

The Robinson Ranch PUD is not impacted by Code Next, but the code does strengthen the connectivity requirements, pretty much guaranteeing that the two street stubs on Council Bluff will be connected to any new development to the north at some future date. If the Robinson Ranch property owners requested changes to the PUD, they would be through the new zoning code.

There are concerns about developing in floodplains in the Parmer/MoPac area and how that will affect nearby and downstream residential and commercial sites.

The Watershed Department added some code language regarding on site water detention for future projects, which should help mitigate any potential for increased flooding as property develops upstream. They also added some environmental controls that would require water quality ponds to treat the runoff for particulates and other debris, adding some protection for downstream properties. 

Please add comments; they are being reviewed and the maps are being updated.

Other information

CodeNEXT attempts to address affordability issues. austintexas.gov/codenext/housing?mc_cid=34c2a62560&mc_eid=e9880136d2

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