CodeNext – who should decide?

The Northwood Neighborhood Association officers are providing the following information on CodeNext to keep you informed on a topic that may have a direct impact on our neighborhood.  As you may or may not know, CodeNext is a dramatic rewrite of Austin’s land development code and plans for Austin’s future growth. The rewrite will have a profound and decades long impact on virtually every resident in Austin. The CodeNext draft is a very complex document and many concerns have been raised regarding the impact of the changes it would bring.  As the officers of your neighborhood we agree that the citizens of Austin, upon whom these changes would be forced, deserve and should have the right and opportunity to vote on these proposed changes once the final draft is drawn. NOTE: As of now it will be voted on ONLY by the City Council.

The petition circulating is proposing that there shall be BOTH a waiting period and voter approval by election before CodeNext (or any other subsequent comprehensive revisions of the City’s land development laws) is legally effective. The petition must be signed in person, no online signatures will be accepted.  The petition requires a date, signature and printed name, street address, zip code, county of residence and either your date of birth or voter ID number (voter IDs are available at votetravis.com/vexpress/display.do). You must be a registered voter within the city limits of Austin for your signature to be accepted. The signatures will be submitted for validation. (Please only sign the petition ONE time if you are approached more than once and asked to sign it.)

To read additional information on this petition and also another petition for reasonable petition requirements for voter referendums please see indyaustin.org/petitions/.

We have seen first hand that going before the city council is a very time consuming and tedious task. CodeNext is a very complicated and lengthy document which is currently in its second draft (our CodeNext post has links to some CodeNext and petition information). Who knows how many more will come before the final one? We feel it is imperative that the citizens of Austin be allowed to review and vote on CodeNext and that it not be left in the hands of 10 council members and the mayor.

If you would be willing to collect signatures, whether it be on your street or anywhere in the neighborhood please provide your contact info on this form. If you want to get involved in assisting with the petition drive effort in other ways email info@indyaustin.org

 

 

 

CodeNEXT resources

Statesman site for coverage of CodeNEXT codenexthub.org/

Petition & other information from concerned citizens

IndyAustin indyaustin.org/ has the petition which we are circulating and more information
IndyAustin Facebook page

10/2017 Number of units and building height – Austin Monitor

9/2017 Slide deck of review of problems in CodeNext v2 (PDF)

9/28/17 comments on CodeNext Draft 2- worse than draft 1 (PDF)

Sept, 2017 article regarding activists plans to petition for a public vote  www.austinmonitor.com/stories/2017/09/longtime-austin-activists-team-up-to-petition-for-a-public-vote-on-codenext/

Information from City government regarding CodeNext

Oct 2017 proposed zoning maps by City Council district

Read chapters of the City of Austin draft Land Development Code (CodeNext) and add comments – codenext.civicomment.org/

Timeline as of Sept 2017 (PDF on city’s website)

CodeNext home page on City’s website

Northwood Fall Garage Sale Oct. 14

The Northwood Fall garage sale is October 14, rain or shine! Locate at the northwest corner of Parmer/MoPac. Here’s a map of garage sale addresses (link removed after the sale); click on an address  to see what is for sale.

For neighbors:

We’ll advertise the sale on NextDoor, Facebook and Craig’s’ List. All of those listings will include a link to this post; we’ll add a map with addresses and item categories for sale (ex: children’s clothing, furniture, books).

Register here by Oct. 12 to have your address and for sale items included on our map.

Bulk trash collection August 28

The City of Austin is conducting the semi-annual bulk collection in our area. If you find yourself thinking about kicking that old TV to the curb, please consider recycling it instead. Goodwill does take electronics – list of items Goodwill can and cannot accept

You can find additional recycling sites by following these links:

https://www.tceq.texas.gov/p2/recycle/electronics/tv_recycling.html

http://www.mrmrecycling.com/recycle-now.php#map

Details on bulk collection

Per the city’s bulk collection page and schedule page

Bulk Items Include:

  • Doors
  • Carpet
  • Furniture
  • Appliances (remove doors)
  • Passenger car tires (remove rims; limit eight tires per household)
  • Lawn mowers (remove gas/oil)
  • Railroad ties (cut in half)
  • Pallets
  • Rolled fencing
  • Nail-free lumber

 

Bulk Item Collection Crews Cannot Collect:

  • Brush, household trash, cardboard boxes, hazardous materials, mirrors, automotive chassis and bodies, motorcycles, trailers, boats and tires that are still mounted on rims
  • Sheet glass and other construction and remodeling debris

Separate Items into Three Piles

  1. Metal items – Includes appliances (remove doors). These are taken to our Resource Recovery Center for recycling
  2. Passenger car tires – Rims must be removed. Limit of eight tires per household. We cannot collect truck or tractor tires. Tires will go to a tire recycling facility
  3. Non-metal items – Includes carpeting and nail-free lumber. These items go to a landfill. Austin Resource Recovery is working on plans to salvage reusable items from bulk collection to help meet the City of Austin’s Zero Waste goal

Northwood/NW corner July 4 parade

Join the Northwood / NW corner July 4 parade – all neighbors who live on this corner of Parmer/MoPac are invited to join the parade. We meet at 10 AM at the corner of Oak Creek Drive and Oak Creek Cove (west of Timberside). Bring flags, decorated bikes and marching music!

Parade route: from Oak Creek Cove, march down Oak Creek Drive to Manhaesset. Turn onto Manhasset, left onto Tamarack and right onto Poquoson. We’ll end the parade part way down on Poquoson in the front yard of some neighbors, where refreshments have been set up.

If you want to contribute to the refreshments, email northwoodna@gmail.com (purchases will be reimbursed).

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

CodeNEXT (new zoning guide/maps) meeting with Council Member Pool’s office May 9

CodeNEXT, the new City guide for future zoning and development in Austin, has been recently unveiled. District 7 Council Member Pool’s staff are holding a meeting on May 9 at the Milwood Library starting at 6:30 PM for the northern part of District 7 to discuss CodeNEXT and answer questions.

Link to Council Member Pool’s email about CodeNext (it contains the same links that are listed below and more).

Please review the information in the links below to learn about CodeNEXT and how it affects this part of Austin, and attend the May 9 meeting to ask questions and provide feedback.

  • Compare the current and proposed zoning changes  https://codenext.engagingplans.org/codenext-comparison-map
  • Review the text of the Land Development Code https://codenext.civicomment.org/.Per this page,”CodeNEXT is the new City of Austin initiative to revise the Land Development Code, which determines how land can be used throughout the city – including what, where, and how much can be built.
    The draft Land Development Code will be edited based on the comments you provide on this site, in our public meetings, and through other feedback mechanisms. For more information and for other ways to get involved, please visit our website: austintexas.gov/codenext.”
  • Home page of CodeNEXT www.austintexas.gov/CodeNEXT

 

Northwood Spring garage sale May 6, 2017

Northwood’s garage sale is May 6, from 8:00 am until ?. Check out the map of neighbors who are participating and what they’re selling (click on an address to see items for sale).

Northwood is located at the northwest corner of Parmer and MoPac. To enter Northwood from north of that intersection, be on the MoPac frontage road and turn right on Oak Creek Drive, which is immediately after MoPac Self Storage.  To enter from the south or east, go west on Parmer past MoPac and take the first (Tamarack) or second (Silver Creek) right turns.

Please drive carefully; many families, some with young children, walk or bike our streets.

map of sellers (link removed)

 

Oak Creek Apts. Housing Tax Credits opposition

The developers for the Oak Creek apartments have applied for 9% Housing Tax Credits (TDHCA website 9% page) so they can build reduced rent (affordable housing) units. This is a very competitive process.  There is a public comment period for the TDHCA 9% tax credits which ends June 23, 2017.

During this public comment period we can write to the TDHCA (details below) and attend TDHCA Board meetings to express our opinions and opposition regarding the project.  The TDHCA looks at the public comments when evaluating a project.

Sign petition opposing the tax credits

You can sign the online petition here by June 15 (the Board needs time to prepare the petition for submission). All residents who are at least 18 years of age can sign.

Submit comments  to TDHCA

If you wish to submit comments to the TDHCA by phone, fax or email (details below), be sure to include the following

Application# 17272 Development Name: Elysium Grand
Development Address: N side of Oak Creek Dr, W of Mopac
(Note: the address under the application is not 3300 Oak Creek.  This is because the developer applied for 2 projects under the same land during the pre-application process and they could not put 2 applications under the same address).
Development City: Austin, TX 78727

Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Attn: Multifamily Finance Division
P.O. Box 13941
Austin, Texas 78711-3941
or by email: htc.public-comment@tdhca.state.tx.us
or by fax: (512) 475-1895

 

Easter Egg hunt April 9, 2017 (rescheduled)

Update: The forecast for the original Easter Egg Hunt of April 2 looks like a rainy day so the hunt is now set for April 9 at 2 PM.

Mark your calendar for April 2 (rain date of April 9) for the Northwood Easter Egg Hunt.  The hunt begins at 2.00 at Balcones Park, at the corner of Amherst and Duval. Bring a basket for each child for all the eggs and candy!

Children of association members are free; children of non-members  pay $2.00 each (pay dues).  Questions? Want to help? email northwoodsecretary@gmail.com. Updates – including last minute rain date information – will also be available on our Nextdoor.com  site.