Meeting results / take action!
Ed English hosted the meeting. Speakers included
- Michael Curry, Attorney and Barbara McArthur, scientist; both of whom have studied CodeNext and the current LDC in detail
- Jim Duncan, has 60 years of planning experience including as former directory of Austin’s Planning Department, as director and consultant in other cities, and the former head of the American Planning Group
- Fred Lewis, attorney and activist, member of Community Not Commodity
The meeting raised some very concerning issues, including some – such as the insights on the effect on property taxes – which are not common knowledge. This rewrite affects all of Austin; this meeting focused on the impact of neighborhoods around Parmer Lane.
Mr. Duncan stated that “what’s in the 1366 page document is scary…if this document is adopted, Austin will be the only major city in the US that does not have a zoning district that specifically allows detached single family homes… Not one neighborhood – it’s not in the code, so it’s not permitted.” Another speaker noted even outside the transition zones which are close to corridors such as Parmer Lane, current single family lots will allow duplexes to be built. And if a house is at least 30 years old, 3 residential units can be built. (Parking was not discussed; it is mentioned in Zoned Out).
Other speakers noted that several years ago property taxes began to value the land more than the structure (house) on the land. If this version of the LDC passes, the speakers expect property taxes to increase – the value of the land will increase because additional structures can be built.
Planning Commission member Carmen Llanes Pulido was unable to attend the meeting but emailed Ed English; he read this part of her email:
“Your voice does make a difference. Right now, we have some numbers, some projections, some plans. We have numbers of units allowed and places on a map. We don’t have people’s stories, your lived experience, the real life happenings, insight and knowledge that make true community planning. The planning commission does not have the history of your neighborhoods, and doesn’t often know who is living there, who stands to be displaced, how transit works, how urban heat islands are affecting people, where localized flooding is getting worse, etc. This qualitative data is CRITICAL to good community planning.
“To make this code the least destructive to our communities, possible, we will need to hear from everyone. New faces have to come out. It’s okay if you don’t have the jargon in your back pocket. Speak from your lived experience and tell them what you want to see and what you don’t want to see.
“This hasn’t happened, yet! It’s not over, and your honest voices, your true concerns, and your open, authentic questions to council and commissioners ARE making a difference.” (end).
Attend the Oct. 26 Planning Commission meeting at City Hall
Tell the Planning Commission, City Council and Mayor what you think about this proposed LDC. Home page for the LDC, austintexas.gov/ldc
www.austintexas.gov/contact-us has phone numbers, individual email addresses and the mailing address (consider sending postcards)
www.austintexas.gov/email/all-council-members email all CC members and the Mayor at once
sign up for email updates at communitynotcommodity.com/
The Oct. 18 letter from Council Member Leslie Pool’s office included “an LDC Resources table (PDF) listing important planning, transportation, housing, and environmental documents that helped to inform city planning staff on the Oct. 4 LDC revision draft; it includes includes an LDC Timeline (PDF) for important public engagement opportunities through this process.”
Ask questions, get answers: http://www.austintexas.gov/department/learn-ask
More information is available at an earlier post, https://northwoodna.com/2019/09/02/northwood-and-the-city-wide-new-land-development-code/
Oct 10 Meeting time/date
What/When: meeting Thursday Oct 10 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Where: United Christian Church, 3500 West Parmer Lane, Austin, TX 78727
Topic: The City of Austin is on the verge of rewriting the Land Development Code. This Code will shape how Austin grows in so many ways over the next 30 – 50 years. This rewrite will have a profound impact on virtually every neighborhood citywide. There have been many questions asked, concerns raised and a general sense of confusion over just how this affects our area. We hope to shed some light on the specifics as we know them, screen the video Zoned Out http://www.zonedoutfilm.com/watch-the-film.html and take as many questions from area residents as time allows.
Please RSVP on the NextDoor event if possible; this helps the organizers plan
To learn more about this rewrite, see this blog post