Posted by kevin.mclaughlin70 Oct 14th 10:09 PM

unless the general provision was adopted more recently and the manifest intent of the city council was for the general provision to apply.

This resolves the NCCD issue that the ADU ordinance had.


Posted by kevin.mclaughlin70 Oct 14th 10:10 PM

Except as provided in Subsection (A)(1), the Zoning and Platting Commission shall act as the Land Use Commission on applications related to property not with an area identified under Subsection (A)(2).

Is Subsection (A)(2) the correct subsection or should it be (A)(3)?


Posted by kevin.mclaughlin70 Oct 14th 10:11 PM

Page 47 - 1

Just a note that we could do a better job as a city on this

Posted by pete.gilcrease Oct 06th 10:06 PM

(A) The Planning Director shall initiate the formation of a Neighborhood Plan Contact Team.

The recent Audit of Neighborhood Plans and Contact Teams finds that our current neighborhood planning processes are “inequitable and have lacked robust and representative participation,” that neighborhood planning contact teams (NPCTs) “create barriers to public engagement and representative decision-making,” that neighborhood “plans are not consistent with some elements of Imagine Austin,” and that “fair housing choice has not been specifically considered in most neighborhood planning efforts.” While the Audit acknowledges these flaws, it does not provide adequate recommendations to remedy them.

The Audit’s conclusions show that the current neighborhood planning process undermines the vision of inclusive neighborhoods with an abundance and full diversity of people. Our neighborhoods should not be exclusive enclaves for incumbents, and the interests of any particular neighborhood should never trump the interests of the citywide community.

City officials should expand the neighborhood planning process to include all neighborhood stakeholders, and to remove the special status it currently bestows on NPCTs. Furthermore, city planners should embrace as important stakeholders renters and the families who aspire to live in our neighborhoods.

Remove the Special Status Bestowed Upon NPCTs

It’s recommends that city officials no longer give NPCTs special privileges in the neighborhood planning process, and that city officials should empower planning staff to exercise their professional experience and expertise as they consider input from all members of the community and ultimately make recommendations to boards, commissions, and the City Council. The existing notification process enables stakeholders within a given neighborhood or nearby area to provide input, support, or opposition to variances or other development. City staff can employ this same notification process to solicit input for neighborhood planning decisions. City staff could expand the notification mechanism to enable stakeholders outside these proximity-based zones to register for notifications, ensuring everyone is heard and the process is professional, inclusive, and fair.

The 10-1 representation on the City Council, having brought the geographic representation the city once lacked, has rendered the special status of NPCTs unnecessary. NPCTs have become harmful to the goals of an inclusive city that strives to represent all stakeholders, especially the renters who compose a majority of our city and are sometimes excluded from these groups entirely.

Suspend and Reform NPCTs

If the City Council decides to not eliminate NPCTs’ special status, then it’s recommended to suspend the NPCTs’ special status until they have taken steps to ensure they are more representative of the full diversity of neighborhood stakeholders. City officials can then reinstate NPCTs as they demonstrate they have implemented these steps.

1) City staff should be assigned to oversee each NPCT. The assigned staff member shall attend and facilitate all meetings, functions, oversee eligible voter rosters, and take the place and function of current officer positions on NPCTs. 2) NPCTs should be required to have representation from all stakeholder groups for a quorum, including renters, homeowners, and business owners. 3) NPCTs should have a minimum participation from stakeholders in the planning area. 4) NPCTs should be required to use online voting to allow easy participation for all stakeholders. 5) NPCTs should eliminate mandatory attendance requirements and other barriers to participation that disenfranchise stakeholders. 6) For neighborhood plans to remain valid, they should be required to go through a review and updating process. If a complete review is not done within one year, then the plans should be considered invalid and removed from the land development code. 7) Neighborhood plans should be required to align with Imagine Austin when going through the review process before they are reinstated and after reinstatement. 8) Neighborhood plans should be required to meet fair housing requirements when going through the review process before they are reinstated and after reinstatement. 9) NPCTs should be required to determine where more density should be allowed by right in their planning areas based on projected future growth of the city and improvement in Imagine Austin’s complete communities indicators. Opportunity for Affordability, Equity, and Diversity

Austin’s continuing growth, and its transformation into a fully realized urban environment, requires its citizens to reconsider how Austin can best deliver on goals of equity, diversity, and opportunity for all of its residents. Decades of land use policies that were originally based on segregation have calcified Austin’s neighborhood development, leading to its current status as the most segregated city in the country.

As the recent audit completed by the City of Austin confirms, it is imperative that we as a city fix this broken component of the land development process. Removing NPCTs’ special status, and enacting more complete ways for stakeholders to be heard, provide opportunities for Austin to show it is serious in addressing its long history of social inequities and injustices.


Posted by josiahstevenson Oct 05th 10:40 PM

Page 76 - 1

Does this mean that some Affordability Unlocked projects might qualify for site plan lite even if above eight units?

Posted by ki Oct 05th 10:22 PM

This section applies to the construction or expansion of three to eight residential units that are located on a platted residential lot

On site plan for 3-8 lots it requires a platted residential lot. In 1-2 it simply requires a legal lot. Both should require just a legal lot. Limiting to platted lots will reduce the usefulness of transition zones. Also lots without deed restrictions are frequently not platted.

Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:19 PM

(2) This section does not apply to development that: (a) Includes a boat dock, bulkhead, or shoreline access; (b) Exceeds 50 percent impervious cover; (c) Is on a lot that was not originally part of a residential subdivision; or (d) Requires a variance from the Land Use Commission.

I believe 2b should be removed. Impervious cover limits in all zones should be in line with allowing for a limited site plan review, particularly in allowing for more missing middle housing. 2c is also unclear without a map as to what was originally platted as residential and when.


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:21 PM

An additional number of units is allowed for a qualifying development certified under Section 23-3E-1080 (Application Procedures) and participating in the Affordability Unlocked Bonus Program, as provided under Section 23-3D-10090 (Affordability Unlocked Density Bonus).

The text is unclear as to whether you can exceed eight units and if so, by how many units.


Posted by lynn Oct 05th 10:16 PM

23-2C-3010 Purpose and Applicability (A) To ensure compliance with the deadlines and review procedures established by Division 23-5B-1 (Mandatory Actions), this section establishes requirements for review and processing of subdivision applications. (B) This division apples to subdivision applications, including applications for approval of a preliminary plan, final plat, or subdivision construction plan under Chapter 23-5 (Subdivision)

Typo - apples to applies


Posted by kevin.mclaughlin70 Oct 06th 10:49 PM

500 feet

Instead of 500 feet, can we just say “no more than state law requires”?


Posted by kevin.mclaughlin70 Oct 06th 10:50 PM

Page 106 - 1

Yay!


Posted by pete.gilcrease Oct 05th 10:56 PM

The neighborhood plan contact team for the planning area in which the property is located.

To be more inclusive, if a neighborhood plan contact team can initiate a change, then other groups should be allowed to initiate a change as well, since often people are excluded from being members of a contact team. Neighborhood associations, non-profits, and all forms of other groups that are stakeholders in the planning area should be able to initiate changes.


Posted by pete.gilcrease Oct 05th 10:01 PM

If the applicant is a neighborhood plan contact team, the City is responsible for the cost of notice.

This seems unfair to allow contact teams make changes for free, but other groups are responsible for the cost. Other stakeholders in the neighborhood or planning area should also be able to initiate changes without the barriers that are currently placed on them, which makes changes and improvements less likely if they can only come from exclusionary groups.


Posted by kevin.mclaughlin70 Oct 06th 10:04 PM

Qualifies as an affordable housing project under Article 23-4E (Affordable Housing);

Good!

Posted by pete.gilcrease Oct 05th 10:11 PM

(c) An application may be filed only during the month established by the responsible director under Subsection (K) unless: (i) The application is submitted by a neighborhood plan contact team for the planning area in which the property is located; or (ii) A neighborhood plan contact team for the planning area in which the property is located has given written approval of the application.

This is very limiting. If a contact team can amend at any time during the year, then it should allow other groups and individuals the same ability. There’s no reason to limit the time period for some and not others.


Posted by pete.gilcrease Oct 05th 10:17 PM

(K) Map and Filing Date. The responsible director shall establish a map designating the area of the City for which a neighborhood plan amendment must be submitted in February and the area for which an application must be submitted in July.

Amendments should not be so limited to specific times of the year.


Posted by benjaminsteele Oct 05th 10:00 PM

(3) Written comments provided under this subsection are considered to be delivered to the director on the date that the comments are: (a) Received by the body conducting a public hearing or, for an administrative decision, director or designated case manager; or (b) Submitted by email, if authorized by the director.

If (a) gets lost in the mail, one could insure against that by sending an email in (b), but that is subject to director authorization. Director authorization for an email sounds like a good way to ignore comments in the administrative process.


Posted by benjaminsteele Oct 05th 10:13 PM

To initiate an appeal under this article, a notice of appeal must be filed on a form prescribed by the director and must include

This is probably useful in process to challenge spurious appeals


Posted by benjaminsteele Oct 05th 10:18 PM

(A) A timely filed appeal tolls the expiration period for the application or approval associated with the decision under appeal.

The appeal deadline opens (we’ll say 14 days). An appeal is filed on day 1. The appeal process goes through over such-and-such time period and is now closed in favor of the approved project. There are now 13 more days in which another appeal may be filed?

Posted by benjaminsteele Oct 05th 10:16 PM

(E) If an appeal challenges the director’s interpretation or application of multiple codes falling within the jurisdiction of more than one body, the director may divide the appeal into separate cases and assign each case to the appropriate board.

Breaking this into multiple cases is going to tie things up even longer. A joint committee could be formed with members of the interested boards that would allow for things to be sped along a little bit more, rather than waiting on committee meetings for god-knows-how-many boards to meet.


Posted by benjaminsteele Oct 05th 10:22 PM

If an appeal concerns issues with potential to affect individuals or groups who are not parties to the appeal or otherwise entitled to notification, the director may provide additional notice to those individuals or groups.

The level of discretion here is unclear as to which interested parties will be informed.


Posted by benjaminsteele Oct 05th 10:24 PM

Page 173 - 1

Are “other individuals” members of the general public or do they have to have the standing to be involved in the administrative process?


Posted by elliottbucknall Oct 05th 10:27 PM

(C) Contents of Determination. The director shall provide a written determination to the applicant, which must state: (1) Whether the petition is approved or denied, wholly or partly, and the basis for the decision; (2) Findings of fact in support of the determination and information sufficient to identify the permit or fair notice application on which the petition is based; and (3) If the petition is approved: (a) A description of the project for which vested rights are recognized; and (b) A vesting date.

If the determination is partially or fully approved, there should be listed descriptions of the significant changes in the land use regulations due to the vesting. Ex. “The property is exempt from the exterior route visitability”. This may or may not be doable to other rules such as chapter 245 which is a state provision, ect.


Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:46 PM

MU5A Mixed-Use 5A 23-3C-5100 MU5B Mixed-Use 5B 23-3C-5110

Difference between MU5A and MU5B? And is there no way to use COs or some other mechanism to enforce difference?

Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:45 PM

Table 23-3A-2020(B) Residential Multi-Unit Zones

Was there ever an attempt/desire to simplify RM and MU to allow mixed use and have only one shared category, since they are generally the same size/scale buildings?


Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:59 PM

(A) If a site is divided by a zone boundary, the regulation of each zone applies to the portion of the site located in that zone

Is this normal? Is this how we do it currently, or a change?


Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:02 PM

(A) This division establishes procedures for land use permits

“Land Use Permit”—Is this a new term? What is it replacing?


Posted by josiahstevenson Oct 05th 10:46 PM

Limitations on building size, including floor area ratio (FAR), height, or gross floor area

Does it make sense to suggest that Land Use Commission should impose conditions on FAR and Height for a CUP? A CUP is for potential variation on uses – if you want to regulate height and massing, would seem like it makes more sense to just do that in the zoning?


Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:06 PM

(d) A retail use that does not provide:

Retail temporary use permits? Examples of non-seasonal (Christmas tree sales) of this?

Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:04 PM

(d) A single dwelling located in a mobile structure on a construction site.

How long can the mobile dwelling stay on the construction site?


Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:08 PM

Posting of Interpretations. The director shall post code interpretations on the City’s website.

Where on the website will the interpretations be?


Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:11 PM

(iii) a petition of the owners of at least 51 percent of the land, measured by land area, in the proposed zone or at least 51 percent of the owners of individual properties in the proposed zone.

Is this a change to the petition process? Why both options to trigger? To make it easier/harder? Which is normally used?


Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:12 PM

If the amendment is part of an area-wide or district-level planning process

Difference between area-wide or district-level planning process?


Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:15 PM

An interested party or registered party may request one postponement for a period of no more than 60 days from the date of the scheduled public hearing

Is this process (7 day notice, an interested or registered party may request one postponement for no more than 60 days from scheduled public hearing) the same as it is currently?

Do any changes address the constant postponement culture?


Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:17 PM

Development in compliance with the variance does not result in parking or loading on public thoroughfares that interferes with the free flow of traffic on thoroughfares; and (3) Development in compliance with the variance does not create a safety hazard or any other condition that is inconsistent with the objectives of the Code.

Free flow of traffic encourages, exacerbates safety hazards to cars, pedestrians and cyclists

Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:16 PM

In determining whether the findings required under Subsection (B) have been met, the Board may consider limitations on developable area resulting from the presence of heritage trees, protected trees, or other environmental features.

Is the same process for allowing variances related to trees?


Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:20 PM

Zones require a vertical mix of uses along corridors and in nodes with increased walkability

What defines “nodes with increased walkability? Wouldn’t allowing/requiring pedestrian use on ground floor create increased walkability?

Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:19 PM

corridors and in nodes

“Nodes” does this mean “centers” or is it consistently used and/or defined elsewhere in the code?


Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:21 PM

additional discretionary approval or licensure including a license agreement or encroachment agreement.

What are these and where do they apply?


Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:23 PM

BED AND BREAKFAST. The use of a residential structure to provide rooms for temporary lodging for overnight guests on a paying basis.

Food service not required (limited or allowed?) Limits on bedrooms or total guests? Ability to have owners suite/cottage on site? Guest limits? Mixed on same lot with other residential uses?


Posted by ki Oct 06th 10:56 PM

MULTI-FAMILY. A residential building containing three or more dwelling units within a single building, with one or more multi-unit buildings per site, and includes, but is not limited to, triplex, quadplex, bungalow court apartments, and multi-unit apartment complexes.

If you are R4 and above you cannot do detached structures (3-4 separate adu type units).

In r4 you can only do duplex and multi-family. Multifamily is defined on page 278 as a building with 3 units or more.

So if your deed restrictions say you can only do single family structures you can do effectively nothing on these lots (with the exception of rebuilding a house). Unless you want to get sued and not get clear title.

Once you get to anything above rm1 (rm2, rm3 etc) you can’t do anything but triplexes.

The number of lots with deed restrictions that allow triplexes is effectively zero.

This restriction will greatly greatly decrease the unit yield from this code rewrite.


Posted by tannerblair Oct 05th 10:59 PM

Page 287 - 1

In general, I’m happy to see the simplified approach to residential zoning. I’m also pleased with the impervious cover rules. They will go a long way toward mitigating flooding and encouraging upward growth in favor of sprawl.

Posted by tannerblair Oct 05th 10:58 PM

These requirements are intended to ensure that proposed development is compatible with existing development, and to produce an environment of desirable character that is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and any other applicable area plan.

I like that the two goals are both acknowledged and given equal weight.


Posted by tannerblair Oct 05th 10:08 PM

Group Residential

As near as I can tell, this term seems to refer to roommates. Are you saying that in R1 - R2C, roommates wouldn’t be allowed? If so, I have a big problem with that.

Posted by tannerblair Oct 05th 10:04 PM

Single-Family

It seems counter-intuitive that R3 would allow for a new single family home.

Posted by tannerblair Oct 05th 10:03 PM

Duplex

Glad to see more duplexes allowed throughout, but I would also like to see an allowance for triplexes and quadplexes for zones that allow larger single-family homes. Enfield is a great example of an existing neighborhood where large single family and some multi-family of the same scale co-exist.

Posted by tannerblair Oct 05th 10:01 PM

Accessory Dwelling Unit - Residential

Glad to see these allowed in all zones. These are a great way to add density, and spreading them out means that no one lot type ends up with all of them.

Posted by lwimberley Oct 05th 10:03 PM

Page 289 - 2

Group residential should be allowed in all residential house-scale. This can be managed by constraints on number of occupants rather than a wholesale ban.

Posted by lwimberley Oct 05th 10:02 PM

Page 289 - 1

Large child care, large adult care should be allowed in all residential house-scale zones.


Posted by lwimberley Oct 05th 10:42 AM

Page 290 - 1

Not allowing uses such as small office, neighborhood retail, neighborhood, bakery, cafe, etc. in Residential House-Scale zones is a huge missed opportunity to make neighborhoods more walkable, more environmentally sustainable.


Posted by ki Oct 05th 10:44 PM

If the parking structure is less than 20 feet behind the building facade, the width of the parking structure may not exceed 50 percent of the width of the building facade, measured parallel to the front lot line

Allow one garage space in all cases. So the code would be “the greater of the width of 50 of the building facade or 12 feet”. This encourages small narrow houses. Also takes into account possibility of a tree limiting the width of the primary dwelling.

Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:34 PM

Maximum Number of Parking Spaces

Given the climate crisis, it is good that there are parking maximums.

Posted by tannerblair Oct 05th 10:09 PM

1.25 times

I am happy to see this. The corridors should be pedestrian-friendly and focused, not parking lots.

Posted by tannerblair Oct 05th 10:07 PM

may not exceed 1.75 times

Glad to see a cap put on max #,

Posted by lwimberley Oct 05th 10:15 PM

(3) Parking Structure. A parking structure with an entrance that faces the front yard abutting right-of-way: (a) May not be closer to the front lot line than the front-most exterior wall of the first floor of the building facade; and (b) May not be closer to the front lot line than 18 feet

The intention here is good - making garages less prominent - but this is overly prescriptive, especially since there are other constraints often in play in Urban invfil, such as heritage trees.

Posted by robert.sotolar Oct 05th 10:46 AM

(B) Maximum Number of Parking Spaces. (1) Developments over 10,000 square feet in floor area or containing 25 or more residential units may not exceed 1.75 times the minimum number of parking spaces required. Maximum is calculated prior to any applicable parking reductions. (2) Lots with frontage on a Corridor or wholly or partially located within a Center may not exceed 1.25 times the minimum number of parking spaces required. Maximum is calculated prior to any applicable parking reductions.

Nice to see parking maximums being proposed - is there room to push for the more restrictive parking maximum (1.25 times the minimum) listed in point two more broadly across the city in the new code?


Posted by lwimberley Oct 05th 10:32 PM

(4) Parking Space. A motor vehicle may only be parked or stored on a driveway or paved parking space. A parking space may not be located in a front yard, except for a parking space in a driveway when: (a) The driveway is approximately 90 degrees to the street right-of-way; or (b) The driveway is 45 to 90 degrees to the street right-of-way for circular driveways. A circular driveway is only permitted when the primary street is a Corridor, or the director determines that backing a motor vehicle onto the adjacent roadway is unsafe.

While reducing parking minimums is great, prescribing how a driveway should be configured (within impervious cover limits, of course) seems overly burdensome.


Posted by tannerblair Oct 05th 10:13 PM

Senior/ Retirement Housing 0.8 per unit

This seems high. Does the data show that seniors still own and operate cars at the same rate as others?

Posted by lwimberley Oct 05th 10:34 PM

Page 294 - 1

Yay!


Posted by robert.sotolar Oct 05th 10:09 PM

(2) Accessory Dwelling Unit. (a) The floor area of an accessory dwelling unit counts against the FAR limit for the principal use on the lot.

Not sure of the logistics of this, but would it be possible to encourage missing middle housing by not having Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) count against a lots Floor Area Ration (FAR), at least in certain circumstances that create negative effects for safety or environmental impacts?


Posted by ki Oct 06th 10:29 PM

The total number of dwelling units otherwise allowed in the zone may be exceeded by one.

Unless you can build 2 adu’s you can run into a problem. If there are two separate structures (house and adu) currently on the lot how would you add a third. Tear one down and build a duplex. It would be better to simply allow a third adu. Forcing one to tear down a structure to take advantage of the preservation incentive is strange.

Posted by ki Oct 06th 10:17 PM

The total number of dwelling units otherwise allowed in the zone may be exceeded by one.

Can we state explicitly that if we keep the existing unit 2 adu’s can be built. Currently its confusing if a only a duplex can be built. If that is true this would not be possible on a large number of lots due to deed restrictions that do not allow duplexes.

Posted by lwimberley Oct 05th 10:31 PM

The floor area of new dwelling units does not count against the FAR limit for uses in the zone.

Should it say that the preserved dwelling does not count toward FAR?

Posted by tannerblair Oct 05th 10:19 PM

If the existing dwelling unit used to qualify for the preservation incentive is altered, the following limitations apply:

I’m pleased to see that there is an allowance for existing structures and the maintenance thereof. There’s been a lot of hand-wringing and misinformation surrounding this topic, so it’s good to see it explicitly stated.


Posted by robert.sotolar Oct 05th 10:37 PM

Page 297 - 3

Preserving existing housing stock while encouraging the addition of dwelling units seems to be a win-win!

Posted by robert.sotolar Oct 05th 10:36 PM

Page 297 - 2

Does “new dwelling units” apply to ADUs?

Posted by robert.sotolar Oct 05th 10:34 PM

Page 297 - 1

If we’re trying to encourage more housing units across the city, why are we being so prescriptive about how much adding more habitable space can cost here?


Posted by tannerblair Oct 05th 10:24 PM

Width (min.) Area (min.

Are these minimums or maximums? I think these are supposed to be max


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:39 PM

Impervious Cover 25%

Given the minimum lot size, this still means someone can cover over 10,000 square feet in impervious cover. RR should be the lowest development possible, and as such the impervious cover should be reduced to no higher than 20%, if not 15%


Posted by robert.sotolar Oct 05th 10:22 PM

Residential 1 (R1) Zone (A) Purpose. Residential 1 (R1) zone is intended to allow detached housing on small lots throughout the city.

This seems to be the last bastion of strictly single-family zoning in the code. Is there room to advocate for doing away with this zoning category and merging it into the proposed “Residential 2C” (R2C) Zone (see page 311) so that, by default, people can at least build single-family attached and duplex structures anywhere in Austin that is zoned residential (except Rural Residential and Lake Austin, I guess) ? They may choose to build single-family structures, but at least there’s the option for more density.


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:51 PM

Page 306 - 1

If this zone is geared towards small lots, then ideally the zone would reduce the minimum size lot to a 25’ x 50’ lot, or 1500SF. At that point the FAR should then be 1.0.


Posted by robert.sotolar Oct 05th 10:27 PM

Residential 2A (R2A) Zone (A) Purpose. Residential 2A (R2A) zone is intended to allow detached housing with accessory dwelling units (ADUs) or duplexes in a more suburban setting.

Yes! More affordable housing everywhere also means the ‘burbs. Making current areas of sprawl denser can prevent further sprawl and may make those areas more suited to self-sustaining public transportation infrastructure that could be tied into a regional network.

Posted by lwimberley Oct 05th 10:16 PM

Purpose. Residential 2A (R2A) zone is intended to allow detached housing with accessory dwelling units (ADUs) or duplexes in a more suburban setting.

A large percentage of Austin’s Urban Core is zone R2A. Given the staff’s definition of this zone we have to wonder - why are we encouraging suburban setting in the Urban Core? How does this square with Imagine Austin’s of building a compact and connected city?


Posted by jensen.cochran Oct 06th 10:43 PM

Page 308 - 3

(this relates to R2A and R2B, which are both very common zones and deserve extra attention) The zones do not seem to allow for 2 detached units, except in the case of home+ADU, where the ADU must be less than or equal to 1100 sq ft (see 23-3D-1030). Seems arbitrary to allow, for example, a 1300 sq ft house and detached 1100 sq ft ADU, but not two 1200 sq ft detached houses.

Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:56 PM

Page 308 - 2

Lot widths should be reduced to 25’, minimum lot size reduced to 2,500 for all uses, and FAR balanced to 0.5 for all.

Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:54 PM

Page 308 - 1

Ideally, minimum lot width would be reduced to 25’ and minimum areas would be cut in half. The minimum FAR in these areas should be 0.5.

Posted by lwimberley Oct 05th 10:19 PM

Table 23-3C-3090(B) Building Placement (1) Setback (Distance from ROW / Lot Line) Front Side St. Side Rear Minimum 25' 15' 5' 10'

Set back requirement of 25’ in the front is too large. Homes set closer to the street make for a better pedestrian experience.


Posted by robert.sotolar Oct 05th 10:59 PM

23-3C-3110 Residential 2C (R2C) Zone (A) Purpose. Residential 2C (R2C) zone is intended to allow detached housing with accessory dwelling units (ADUs) or duplexes on small lots throughout the city.

I’m curious if Council Staff can articulate a rationale for why certain areas would be zoned the more restrictive “Residential 1” (R1) - see page 305 - vs. this “Residential 2C” (R2C) zoning. If the reasoning for leaving areas in the more restrictive R1 zoning is neighborhood sensitivity, perhaps we can push City Council to be bold and stay faithful to their stated intent with this code of a more affordable Austin?


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:04 PM

Page 312 - 2

All minimum areas except for townhomes should be halved and all FAR should be increased to at least 0.5.

Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:01 PM

Page 312 - 1

Lot minimum width should be reduced to 25’ and I believe the three R2 zones should be combined for clarity and conciseness.


Posted by tannerblair Oct 05th 10:34 PM

To maintain a house-scale aesthetic, private frontages are required.

Why is this? Does this mean that a three-plex that has a single entrance with a foyer would not be allowed?


Posted by tannerblair Oct 05th 10:36 PM

To maintain a house-scale aesthetic, private frontages are required.

Same as with R3. A shared entry doesn’t necessarily preclude a house-scale aesthetic.


Posted by tannerblair Oct 05th 10:37 PM

Duplex 4 +4

Wouldn’t the base standard for a duplex be 2?


Posted by ki Oct 05th 10:20 PM

Cottage Court

Why are cottage courts not allowed in all rm zones? They are currently only allowed in rm1.

Posted by ki Oct 05th 10:32 PM

Cottage Court

Why are cottage courts not allowed in all rm zones? They are currently only allowed in rm1.


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:21 PM

Table 23-3C-4040(A) Parking Requirements for Residential Multi-Unit Zones

There should be no minimum parking requirements for residential uses. Parking spaces can cost between 20,000 and 50,000 each to build and not only does that drive up the cost of housing, but it eats into impervious cover. If a builder wants to provide them then that is fine, but they should not be required.

Posted by robert.sotolar Oct 05th 10:57 PM

(B) Maximum Number of Parking Spaces. (1) Developments over 10,000 square feet in floor area or containing 25 or more residential units may not exceed 1.75 times the minimum number of parking spaces required. Maximum is calculated prior to any applicable parking reductions. (2) Lots with frontage on a Corridor or wholly or partially located within a Center may not exceed 1.25 times the minimum number of parking spaces required. Maximum is calculated prior to any applicable parking reductions.

Could we float the idea to Staff or Council of rewarding developers or homeowners who forgo parking entitlements (under the code max or maybe even under code minimums, in both cases contingent on building integration into the public transport network or on-site bike storage and other pedestrian-friendly features) with a density bonus?


Posted by ki Oct 05th 10:29 PM

A pedestrian entrance must face and connect directly to the primary street, or for corner lots, to the primary or side street.

Make it clear that one pedestrian entrance must face and connect to the primary street. Obviously in a multiunit develop (with multiple buildings it would not make sense or be practical to require every pedestrian entrance to face the street.

Posted by robert.sotolar Oct 05th 10:14 PM

landscape with at least one water feature;

We often have droughts in this area - if this “water feature” language is included just for aesthetic purposes, can we leave out this potential source of waste?


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:28 PM

Table 23-3C-4060(A) Lot Size and Intensity

I don’t understand why this zone is different from the other RM zones in that intensity is not done by units per acre. I would say either have unit caps everywhere, have intensity caps everywhere, or have neither.


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:20 PM

Page 335 - 3

Minimum area in all zones for multifamily should be reduced to 2500SF and minimum width should be reduced to 25’. With the number set higher you are encouraging less missing middle housing and promoting more large-scale apartments to be built.

Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:18 PM

Page 335 - 2

The base FAR for all multi-unit zones should be 1.0, if not closer to 1.5. This will encourage family-size units to be built (2 to 3 bedrooms).

Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:44 PM

Page 335 - 1

I can’t follow as to why RM2 is separate from RM1. It seems like combining to reduce the complexity of the code would be good.


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:12 PM

Table 23-3C-4070(A) Lot Size and Intensity

The minimum lot size is too high to be able to build missing middle housing. Coupled with the low max intensity, the only thing that can be built on 5,000SF lots appears to be duplexes.


Posted by ki Oct 05th 10:26 PM

(2) Compatibility Setbacks

For lots over 75 feet wide there is compatibility of 20 feet on the side and 30 feet at the rear. Compatibility does not allow anything in this area. Driveways and 1 story buildings should be allowed in this compatibility area. Not allowing in this area seems excessive.

Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:28 PM

Page 340 - 1

Maximum density is too low, minimum lot size is too high, FAR is too low, combine all those and all you will get are townhomes at most.


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:38 PM

Compatibility Height Stepback Distance from the lot line of the triggering property

Compatibility impact should be limited to only within 25’ of a lot line and only to 45’. The current writing of this will limit height and create ziggurat buildings across the city.


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:40 PM

Table 23-3C-5040(A) Parking Requirements for Mixed-Use Zones

There should be no parking required for any residential. The cost and impact to impervious cover is too high.


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:44 PM

(7) Restaurant and Bars

It seems dangerous to require parking for bars.


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:49 PM

Page 376 - 1

Minimum area for development is too high and maximum FAR is too low.


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:50 PM

Page 379 - 1

There doesn’t seem to be enough differentiation between MU1 and MU2 to warrant to different zones.


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:54 PM

(2) Compatibility Setback

Compatibility Setbacks should be removed


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:58 PM

Page 396 - 1

Minimum areas for lots should be reduced and compatibility setbacks should be removed.


Posted by tvossber Oct 05th 10:31 PM

Maximum Floor Area Ratio. (a) The maximum FAR for a lot may not exceed the highest FAR allowed in the zone for a permitted use, unless: (i) Additional FAR is obtained by participation in a density bonus program; or (ii) Additional FAR is obtained by utilization of the Preservation Incentive

This applies to all Main Street Zones and references FAR but none of the Main Street Zones have FAR limits. This appears inconsistent or redundant.


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:01 PM

(2) Compatibility Height Stepback Distance from the lot line of the triggering property:

It seems a bit silly that a zone could be potential lower than what is allowed next to it, i.e. a single-family home could be taller than a main-street building. The reduction should only be to 35’ if there is any reduction at all.


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:04 PM

Page 416 - 1

There isn’t enough clarity as to why MS2A and MS2B are not combined into one zone.


Posted by dan.keshet Oct 04th 10:25 PM

Page 424 - 1

Townhouse not a permitted use in DC - This is probably not worth pursuing but it’s unclear why townhouse would not be a permitted use in DC. It’s unlikely somebody would want to pursue one, but downtown has some narrow parcels that could fit townhouses but no other housing type.


Posted by dan.keshet Oct 04th 10:28 PM

Drive-Through, Retail, or Service Facility

It is very good that drive-throughs are banned in DC and CC. There are still very current attempts to build these but they are bad for downtown environments.


Posted by dan.keshet Oct 04th 10:22 PM

Parking Required. Regional Center zones do not require off-street parking.

This is very good! There should not be parking requirements in any of these zones.


Posted by dan.keshet Oct 04th 10:35 PM

Building Placement

These restrictions are sensible for the downtown environment.

Posted by dan.keshet Oct 04th 10:34 PM

Table 23-3C-7070(A) Lot Size and Intensity

These FARs are way too low to achieve the desired height without a lot of above-grade parking. The height acts as a reasonable density control here and therefore FAR controls should be removed in all height-limited CC zones.


Posted by dan.keshet Oct 04th 10:36 PM

Table 23-3C-7070(I) Additional Standards (1) Construction (a) A building must achieve at least a one-star rating under the Austin Energy Green Building program in accordance with Chapter 1-2 (Adoption of Rules) of Title 1 (General Provisions).

How does this compare to current code? How expensive is it for developers to comply with?


Posted by mike_nahas Oct 05th 10:20 PM

Manufactured Home

Manufactured Homes are not allowed in residential zones. This a huge limitation on inexpensive housing.


Posted by pete.gilcrease Oct 05th 10:34 PM

(b) Notwithstanding any provision of the ordinances listed in Paragraph (3)(a), development within an NCCD is subject to: (i) Section 23-3D-1030 (Accessory Dwelling Unit - Residential); and (ii) Section 23-3D-2050 (Off-Street Motor Vehicle Parking Reductions).

How do ADU and parking regulations override the NCCDs since NCCDs are still in the old code? Without amending the NCCDs it’s not clear if simply mentioning these things in the new code will have any impact since the two codes are completely separate from each other. The NCCDs themselves most likely need to be amended for these changes to actually take place. This same thing happened with the city wide ADU ordinance a few years ago. The city passed the “city wide” changes, but because the NCCDs were mistakenly not amended these changes didn’t apply to NCCDs.

Posted by robert.sotolar Oct 05th 10:05 PM

(3) Modifications to NCCD Development Standards. (a) The regulations in this paragraph apply to portions of the F25 Zone located within the: (i) Hyde Park NCCD, adopted by Ordinance No. 020131-20; (ii) North Hyde Park NCCD, adopted by Ordinance No. 20050818-064 and amended by Ordinance Nos. 20050929-073 and 20051006-Z018; (iii) North University NCCD, adopted by Ordinance No. 040826-58 and amended by Ordinance No. 20081120-026; and (iv) Fairview Park NCCD, adopted by Ordinance No. 19860807-H and amended by Ordinance Nos. 20030717-119 and 20100923-120. (b) Notwithstanding any provision of the ordinances listed in Paragraph (3)(a), development within an NCCD is subject to: (i) Section 23-3D-1030 (Accessory Dwelling Unit - Residential); and (ii) Section 23-3D-2050 (Off-Street Motor Vehicle Parking Reductions).

Does this mean that all these areas would permit ADUs going forward?

Posted by robert.sotolar Oct 05th 10:59 PM

(C) F25 Rezoning Policy. In order to achieve consistency with the current regulations of this Title and minimize reliance on prior regulations, the City’s preferred policy is to: (1) Rezone properties within the F25 Zone to current zones established in this Title.

What will be the process for rezoning areas currently zoned “F25” (think Neighborhood Conservation Combining Districts) to align with the Land Development Code re-write?


Posted by info Oct 05th 10:12 PM

Downtown Plan Overlay

This overlay appears to implement a number of provisions provided in the Downtown Austin Plan, adopted in 2011. These should be reviewed within the context of city policies that have been adopted since then, including Imagine Austin, Strategic Housing Blueprint, ASMP, and the policy direction for the LDC Re-write, to ensure all of these policies are still consistent with Austin’s goals.


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:05 PM

Page 520 - 1

Judge’s Hill should be zoned similarly to how Rainey Street was zoned. There is no reason why it should be so close to downtown and have such restrictions between two of the densest neighborhoods in the city.


Posted by info Oct 05th 10:08 PM

Page 522 - 1

I understand that these compatibility zones have been taken from the Downtown Austin Plan (adopted nearly a decade ago), but they should be reviewed to see if they are appropriate for downtown properties and if they are consistent with the direction the city is taking with current city policies and the overall LDC revision.

Some of these compatibility areas, for instance, appear to be even more restrictive than the compatibility standards used elsewhere in town, which raises questions about equity as well as about how these special compatibility standards affect dense development within downtown (itself an Imagine Austin Center). For reference, Council adopted direction to “reduce the impact of compatibility standards on development within activity centers and activity corridors to a greater extent than Draft 3.”

North Lamar between Old 7th and the half-block north of 10th especially should be reviewed. This area caps height on the corridor itself, which would appear to provide the opposite policy direction to what the city is doing elsewhere.


Posted by robert.sotolar Oct 05th 10:28 PM

23-3C-10130 University Neighborhood Overlay (A) Purpose. The purpose of the University Neighborhood Overlay (UNO) is to promote high density redevelopment in the area generally west of the University of Texas campus, encourage affordable housing, provide a mechanism for the creation of a densely populated but livable and pedestrian-friendly environment, and protect the character of the predominantly single-family residential neighborhoods adjacent to the zone.

This model seems to be working to increase density in the West Campus area. Is there a way we can promote this type of overlay as a model other areas in the city to City Council?


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:07 PM

Page 542 - 1

Given the need for more housing and higher development through UNO, the lowest height maximum should allow for 5-over-1 apartments, so 65’.


Posted by ki Oct 07th 10:15 PM

Only one ADU may be built per site, and the total dwelling units per lot shall not exceed the density permitted by the base zone . (a) Exception . Additional units may be allowed in compliance with the Preservation Incentive if permitted by the base zone .

Please specify in the exception that 2 adus can be built using the preservation incentive. Otherwise you can’t do this on lots that don’t allow duplexes. And if two detached houses exist you can’t do this without tearing down at least one house.

Posted by lwimberley Oct 05th 10:28 PM

(1) If detached, minimum 6' to the front, rear, or side of the primary structure or above a detached garage; may be connected to the primary structure with a covered walkway;

This is a vast improvement over the current ADU placement rules.

Posted by lwimberley Oct 05th 10:26 PM

Page 585 - 1

It appears that the new code is allowing “internal ADUs.” That is good news.


Posted by mike_nahas Oct 05th 10:26 PM

A commercial blood plasma center that requires a conditional use permit if the use is within:

The word “that” should be removed.


Posted by ki Oct 06th 10:26 PM

(b) Parking must be clustered and may not be provided adjacent to or attached to an individual unit .

The group parking is not ideal for people with health issues (for instance lowered immune systems that want to stay out of freezing rain in the winter). Or people that can’t carry heavy objects father distances. I think the cottage court could be ideal for elderly residents. But not with these restrictions. Allowing two areas of clustered parking (one on left, one on right) would be better.


Posted by lwimberley Oct 05th 10:44 PM

23-3D-1180 Duplex (A) Configuration. (1) The two units must be attached;

Thank you for getting rid of the zipper wall. That was an wholly unnecessary restriction.


Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:09 PM

Page 625 - 1

Time should be changed to between 9pm and 8am


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:34 PM

These requirements address the parking needs of new land uses and development in a manner that is consistent with the desired character and development patterns of the community and as outlined in the Comprehensive Plan

Add: and the ASMP. Parking is a large section in the new transportation plan.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:38 PM

Routes of travel that connect the accessible elements of the site; and

Are “routes of travel” sidewalks or interior paths within the property?

Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:37 PM

Square Feet. When the number of required parking spaces is based on floor area, the measurement of the floor area shall be in square feet and include the gross floor area except for enclosed or covered areas that are used for off-street parking or loading, or bicycle storage rooms.

This is just a bad calculation, I know nothing will change, but the city needs to know that this is dumb.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:06 PM

A site is part of a TDM program as described in 23-8C-2020 (Transportation Demand Management) that allows multiple parking reductions, then the maximum cumulative parking reduction is 100 percent.

needs an “or” to move to the next section of the code

Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:02 PM

B) Maximum Parking Adjustment.

Wordiness is due to code text quotes This section is confusing and has multiple issues. To understand this section you must refer to multiple tables dispersed throughout the code. Consider duplicating the tables in the section for easier understanding. The use of “or” in 23-3D-2050 (B) (ii) [“the proposed development is connected to a corridor by an accessible sidewalk system; or”] makes it unclear as to which requirement (23-3D-2050 (B) ii OR iii) applies. 23-3D-2050 (B) (ii) is more exclusionary than 23-3D-2050 (B) (iii) [“is rated “Very High” or “High” in the Sidewalk Prioritzation Map as defined in the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan.”] and would prevent 23-3D-2050 (B) (i) [“any portion of the site is within a Center or within ¼ mile of a Corridor or Center, measuring in a straight line from the centerline of the Corridor or edge of Center to the site; and”] and 23-3D-2050 (B) (iii) from being implemented in many areas.

Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:45 PM

A site is part of a TDM program as described in 23-8C-2020 (Transportation Demand Management) that allows multiple parking reductions, then the maximum cumulative parking reduction is 100 percent.

Go staff for sticking to the ASMP.

Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:39 PM

Routes of travel that connect the accessible elements of the site.

Clarify what “routes of travel” refers to.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:12 PM

Located within 1/4 mile of a transit corridor or center and meet standards of 23-3D-2050 (B)(1)(b)

Where 23-3D-2050 (B)(1)(b)(ii) “the proposed development is connected to a corridor by an accessible sidewalk system; or” applies, parking will not be able to be reduced, which will make constructing new residential units more expensive. Since the sidewalk network is horribly incomplete this is a highly prohibitive stipulation.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:17 PM

3 to 11 units None required

If car parking is required as a baseline, then bicycle parking should also be required as a baseline. It’s only fair and fits the ASMP.

Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:15 PM

For non-residential uses, loading docks, overhead doors, and other service entries must be screened and not be located on a primary street facade.

When do residential uses require loading docks?

Posted by lwimberley Oct 05th 10:39 PM

Page 633 - 3

Within commercial need to separate retail/restaurant and office bike requirements. Retail/restaurant should have significantly more bike parking to accommodate those who work at the establishment and the patrons (Boulder requires 1 space per 750 sq.ft)

Posted by lwimberley Oct 05th 10:33 PM

Page 633 - 2

Bike parking requirements for multi-unit developments are WAY TOO LOW!!! We can do much better: Portland, Seattle, Boulder are requiring 1-2 bike parking spaces per unit.

Posted by lwimberley Oct 05th 10:24 PM

Page 633 - 1

Bike parking should be required for all multi-family developments, no exceptions.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:22 PM

A parking structure may be designed to provide adequate dimensions to allow use by or conversion to active uses in accordance with requirements of the Transportation Criteria Manual. Adequate dimensions shall include floor-to-floor heights, structural, driving aisle, and utility layouts within 35 feet of the public right-of-way designed to accommodate occupancy by active uses.

Yay! Go staff.

Posted by agh Oct 05th 10:12 PM

Tuck-under Parking.

Given the low FAR and low impervious cover limits in addition to the parking requirements, preventing tuck-under makes missing middle infeasible.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:02 PM

Division 23-3D-3: Landscape

How will all of these requirements be enforced?

Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:27 PM

Provides visual buffering that safeguards and enhances property values

Does the city want to tout this idea in the context the of mass displacement and gentrification occurring due to rising property values in Austin?


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:29 PM

The development restores a building designated as a historic landmark

Why does landscaping not apply to historic structures?


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:36 PM

Requirements.

Add: Encourage native plants and less water intensive landscaping.

Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:34 PM

This section establishes the landscaping requirements between the front building facade and the adjacent public right-of-way. Figure 23-3D-3040(1)(Front Yard Planting) illustrate this section’s requirements.

Landscaping requirements are exclusionary and cater to traditional ideas of American neighborhoods. This places a financial burden on some families and is unsustainable in our current climate crisis, especially the drought occurring in Central Texas.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:40 PM

Surface parking lots shall include parking tree islands.

Trees are expensive, will there be programs to help small scale builders pay for the required trees?


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:38 PM

The plants required by this section shall comply with the tree diversity standards in Table 23-3D-3170(B) (Diversity Standards).

encourage native plantings


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:42 PM

Optional.

When do these optional requirements apply?


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:05 PM

An intermittent visual obstruction buffer is a compatibility buffer, is at least 20 feet in height, and creates the appearance of spatial separation but does not eliminate the visual contact between properties.

Where will this buffer be used? Which zones? Which land uses?

Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:00 PM

At least 50 percent of the shrubs in the buffer must be evergreen species.

Stress the use of native species


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:04 PM

A semi-opaque buffer is a compatibility buffer, is at least six feet in height, and creates the appearance of spatial separation but does not eliminate visual contact between properties.

Where will this buffer be used? Which zones? Which land uses?


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:03 PM

An opaque buffer is a compatibility buffer, is at least 20 feet in height, prevents visual contact between uses, and creates the appearance of total separation.

Where will this type of buffer be used? What zones? What land uses?


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:09 PM

23-3D-3110 Visual Screening

Consider moving this section before section 23-3D-3090, it will help clarify what requires a buffer.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:11 PM

Functional Green Landscape is a two-tiered approach to fulfilling the purpose of the landscape code. The first tier requires landscape elements to be placed in specified areas of a site, thus protecting private and public investment, providing visual buffering, limiting overcrowding, and enhancing property values. The second tier is a scoring system that measures the ecosystem service value created by landscape; it is intended to improve ecological balance, replenish native vegetation, and enhance public health, safety, and welfare.

Consider switching tier 2 with tier 1. Social issues and benefits should come before economic issues and benefits. The city works for the people, not economics.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:20 PM

(D) Functional Green Score.

Move to beginning of section, will make understanding the requirements for Functional Green Landscape clear and help the readability of the code.

Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:18 PM

ECM Appendix N

What is the ECM and Appendix N is not included in this draft.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:22 PM

Definition: Low spreading vegetation less than 12 inches in height.

Expand to include gravel, rock, and sand to encourage less water intensive landscaping.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:58 PM

23-3D-3170 Planting and Soil Standards

Consider moving this section to the beginning of “Division 23-3D-3: Landscape”, it will help the reader understand what is recommended and acceptable. Especially in reference to prioritizing native plant species.

Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:51 PM

Table 23-3D-3170 (B) Diversity Standards

Consider moving to earlier in landscaping section as this table is mentioned throughout the whole section.

Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:27 PM

Page 656 - 1

Combine to avoid repetition.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:17 PM

Environmental Criteria Manual

This is written elsewhere as ECM, for consistency introduce as “Environmental Criteria Manual” then use ECM in all other situations.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:31 PM

An area of private personal open space at ground level must contain at least 100 square feet and may not be less than 10 feet across in each direction.

Could I have an 8X12? The each direction part is unclear, it is possible to have at least 100 square feet in dimensions other than 10x10.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:36 PM

The amount of open space required may not to exceed 1,000 square feet.

Wording error “may not to exceed”


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:39 PM

Common open space that is located above ground level may be covered if, at least one exterior side is open and unobstructed. A side is not obstructed if railings or balustrades are installed.

Is there a section in the build code that mandates “railings or balustrades” for raised open spaces? If so what is the section. If not, it should be mandated.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:03 PM

An engaged porch may not encroach into a required setback.

Inconsistent with 23-3D-5110(D) which states “An encroachment agreement is required to encroach into the public right-of-way.” Why is an encroachment agreement not allowed with engaged porches?


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:48 PM

Dead-end walls are not permitted.

What is a “Dead-end wall”


Posted by ryanmnill Oct 05th 10:34 AM

23-3D-10040 Dwelling Unit Occupancy Limit (A) Except as otherwise provided by this section or by another requirement of this Title, not more than six unrelated adults may reside in a dwelling unit. (B) In approving an application for a conditional use permit, the Land Use Commission may approve an occupancy above the limit imposed in this section. (C) In no case may the number of occupants exceed limitations established in the Property Maintenance Code, Section 404 (Occupancy Limitations).

The current code has provision allowing seniors to be exempt from occupancy limits. That section is 25-2-511 (B), which is not here the new draft LDC.

Also we would like to see the occupancy limits raised in general. According to council direction to increase housing capacity.


Posted by robert.m.fostr Oct 05th 10:11 PM

Include six dwelling units if the existing zoning on the site is Residential 4 (R4) or more restrictive. (3) A Type 2 qualifying development may: (a) Construct to a height that is the applicable base zoning district height limit multiplied by 1.5; and (b) Include eight dwelling units if the site is located within a Residential 4 (R4) or more restrictive zone.

This is the only place with R3 and more restrictive zoning bonus. This should be worked into the default AHBP.


Posted by info Oct 05th 10:35 PM

the director may require that a reasonable portion of the total impervious cover permitted on the site be allocated to the dedicated parkland

This language has been brought forward from the current code. However, “a reasonable portion” is unclear – staff should consider developing a more definite limit on the amount that can be required (for instance, based on average impervious cover provided in city parks today).


Posted by info Oct 05th 10:50 PM

Fifteen Percent Urban Core Cap

Per Council’s policy direction, code revisions should include: “For parcels within activity centers and on activity corridors, application of non-zoning regulations should be prioritized in a manner that allows for greater potential housing unit yields than would otherwise be achieved without prioritization.”

Even with the urban core cap, parkland dedication requirements may still negatively impact unit yields on key corridor and center properties. For properties that are located on an Imagine Austin Corridor or ASMP Transit Priority Network Roadway, the city should consider providing the applicant the authority to decide whether to dedicate or pay fee in lieu. Many of these properties are complicated infill projects for which parkland dedication could mean a significant reduction of units in areas where Council has explicitly prioritized unit yields in specific areas (on corridors) over non-zoning regulations such as this.


Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:35 PM

d. Pruning more than 25% of the live canopy.

Helpful definition, details provide useful clarity and improvement on current “excessive pruning.”

Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:34 PM

c. Damaging the critical root zone; and

Any part of the CRZ? On referring to same impacts as current code (ie, no lower than 4-inches in 12 CRZ, no more than half of CRZ outside of 12 radius)

Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:33 PM

Small Public Tree. A public tree that has a DBH of at least 4 inches or a planted public tree of any diameter.

Invasive trees and scrub trees that are in the public right of way, sidewalk easement, are now given protected status and add time, cost and complexity of full arborist review?

Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:31 PM

Public Tree. A tree that has at least two thirds of its trunk diameter located on real property owned or controlled by the city.

Another new term and type of regulated tree?

Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:29 PM

Keystone Tree. A tree that has a DBH of at least 8 inches, but less than 19 inches.

This is a new category. Was it necessary to add another category of tree? Were the old regulations not resulting in desired results?


Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:37 PM

The director shall adopt administrative rules to implement this article. In consultation with the Transportation and Public Works directors, the director shall adopt administrative rules to implement the street tree regulations in Article 23-8E (Street Tree Requirements).

Draft administrative rules? Timeline? Effects? Any different than what we have now administratively, and if so what are the added goals?


Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:41 PM

(B) The review and inspection fees may be waived if the application is for:

“MAY” be waived—meaning staff has discretion, or it will be waived if below conditions are met?

Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:39 PM

The city arborist shall review all applications to remove or impact a regulated tree for compliance with this article.

Based on the above definition of “regulated tree” the process scope is being enlarged significantly. Do we know or have any idea on how many additional trees/decision/inspection points we are talking about adding the small public trees and “keystone” trees to this process?


Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:36 PM

(1) Remove or impact a regulated tree without obtaining the city arborist’s review and approval under this article; or

Regulated tree by this definition now includes “keystone trees” which are any trees over 8-inch diameter, so now to remove any tree over 8-inches in diameter I have to go through arborist application/review? How much would this process cost to remove an invasive chinaberry or scrub hackberry tree that happens to be over 8 inches in diameter?

Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:32 PM

(A) The city arborist may request that a city department administratively modify a policy, rule, or design standard to the extent necessary to preserve a regulated tree if enforcement will otherwise result in removal or removal by impact. (B) At the city arborist’s request, a responsible director may administratively modify the applicable policy, rule, or design standard if the director determines that a waiver or modification will not pose a threat to public safety.

The applicant/owner can’t request a modification to preserve a tree? What would be an example of allowing a modification that would be a threat to public safety? Would allowing a building to start before the front setback line, or extend into a side street setback (for example) to fit in the units and save a tree/trees be something that was considered safe enough to be allowed. Would there be criteria/standard modification options to attempt to save trees (ie, additional height, FAR, encroaching into setbacks, waiving of compatibility) that could make the process far less opaque and give property owners visibility and flexibility of knowing what options might ever be allowed, and what wouldn’t.


Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:03 PM

) A development application on property zoned R2A, R2B, R2C, or R3 may count keystone trees towards tree planting or mitigation requirements.

We need to be working to maximize the value, effectiveness of our new transition zones to help deliver as many missing middle units as we can to address affordability, sustainability and equity issues, so prioritizing or helping smaller scaled zones, which have much more flexibility to squeeze in the lower units over the transition-zoned categories undercuts the stated AHBP and council direction goals.

Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:59 PM

(4) The tree prevents reasonable use of the property; or

In regards to protected trees, how to we balance our desire to get more affordable and market affordable missing middle units in the new R4/RM1 zones vs. preserving a tree that negatively impacts building placement/unit yield on a lot?

Is it reasonable for a protected tree to keep a transit accesible, high opportunity lot from delivering 10 units, when say it could only fit 4?

Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:55 PM

(4) Removal of the tree cannot be avoided through minor changes to a development, such as grading, access, parking, or landscape island configuration, that would not change building layout or number of units; or

Does this mean that “keystone trees” will be approved for removal/impact if their placement is on the site where a building will be going?

Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:53 PM

(B) An application proposing to remove or impact a keystone tree associated with a development application is not required if the property is zoned R2A, R2B, R2C, or R3. (C) A development application on property zoned R2A, R2B, R2C, or R3 may count keystone trees towards tree planting or mitigation requirements.

Why carve out residential house scaled zones up to R3 from enforcement of new smaller tree regs and not exempt small-scaled missing middle which we want to help get built in R4 and RM1? By adding this new regulation on the small residential lots in transition zones where we want to see missing middle units built, this increases the complexity, cost and feasibility, making the units harder to fit into these old established lots and, even where they can be, will result in more expensive, more complex to design and build structures that directly increase the rent/price of those units.

Posted by atalbert Oct 05th 10:48 PM

23-4C-2030 Keystone Trees

The creation of another protected tree category further complicates development process, and by adding trees 8-inches or larger to have to go through the arborist review process and not just requiring mitigation for removing one during planning process, adds another layer of complexity and cost for both city and owners.


Posted by robert.m.fostr Oct 05th 10:55 PM

Former Title 25. A density bonus request in the Former 25 (F25) Zone, established in Section 23-3C-9090 (Former Title 25 (F25) Zone), shall be subject to the requirements and density bonus incentives, if any, as available under Former Title 25.

Given that F25 encompasses large swaths of Central Austin, an affordable housing bonus should be created for these neighborhoods or the standard should apply.


Posted by ki Oct 05th 10:02 PM

Affirmative Marketing. Each development will have an affirmative marketing and outreach plan for the length of the affordability period, approved by the director, that is consistent with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development regulations. This plan will ensure that developments have in place affirmative fair housing marketing policies in soliciting buyers and tenants, in determining their eligibility, and in concluding sales and rental transactions. The plan will include ways to publicize or market the availability of housing opportunities to low- and moderate-income households and to protected classes, as well as information on fair housing laws and protections.

It seems like there should be some language that the marketing plan scales with the size of the development. A 10 unit development will have a different size marketing plan and budget than a 5,000 unit development.


Posted by robert.m.fostr Oct 05th 10:59 PM

Where multiple bonuses are applicable, the maximum calculated bonus area or bonus units apply.

Does this mean the highest of the bonuses or do the bonuses compound?


Posted by robert.m.fostr Oct 05th 10:04 PM

Application. The affordability requirements described in Table 23-4E-1040(B) are applied based on geography to ensure the requirements reflect sub-market variations and zone-specific bonus options.

Table 23-4E-1040(B) appears to lack the zones in which these requirements would apply


Posted by robert.m.fostr Oct 05th 10:06 PM

Table 23-4E-1040(C)

Where are the maps that these numbers apply to?


Posted by robert.m.fostr Oct 05th 10:17 PM

Must be deed-restricted to achieve at least the same affordability period and income restrictions as the project accessing the Affordable Housing Bonus and may include any combination of new units or units in an existing structure;

What prevents the affordable units for a downtown high rise being tiny dilapidated(but still up to code) units from the 70s? Would seem against the spirit of the law for a building with 900 sq ft one bedrooms to provide 400 sq ft one bedrooms as their affordable units without any of the amenities? How many extra units would be fair for us to ask for in this case?

Posted by robert.m.fostr Oct 05th 10:11 PM

Occupancy Conversion.

How will we prevent abuse of this? Technically, an ownership unit could be converted to a rental unit after 40 years and not have to be affordable. Then it could be sold the next year as a market rate ownership unit right?


Posted by robert.m.fostr Oct 05th 10:23 PM

The director shall establish processes, compliance, and monitoring criteria for implementing the affordability requirements of this division. Training of property owners or property managers before the initial lease up and during the affordability period may be required.

This is crucial, we don’t want a repeat of the Domain.


Posted by ki Oct 05th 10:53 PM

For developments that have received an affordability certification letter, the developer or property owner shall notify the director when building permits are issued for the development.

If the permits are issued by the city. Why does the city need to be notified? Instead of telling developers they need to notify a city official when the city staff notifies them that a permit has been issued, and then having an enforcement provision to make sure they do that. It would seem easier for city staff just to notify the director.


Posted by dan.keshet Oct 04th 10:39 PM

Page 839 - 2

It is very bad that there is zero access to density bonuses in the northwest portion of downtown. Allowing denser construction in downtown should be a no-brainer.

Posted by dan.keshet Oct 04th 10:38 PM

Page 839 - 1

It is very good that the limitations on bonusable area have been removed from large portions of downtown.


Posted by robert.m.fostr Oct 05th 10:26 PM

Manufactured Home Park. A minimum of 270 days before the date that an application for a rezone, site plan, or land use approval may be approved.

Thanks, this will help protect our most vulnerable neighbors!


Posted by robert.m.fostr Oct 05th 10:59 PM

23-4E-7050

The annual reports are a good idea that should be applied to all affordable units and should be available online for community groups to confirm compliance.


Posted by mike_nahas Oct 05th 10:58 PM

However, the city manager may from time to time delegate particular functions to one or more other city departments, which shall control over the general delegation in this subsection.

This statement could use clarity/specificity. Do “function” and “subsection” refer to the same thing? Can a single function be delegated to more than one city department? Is the city manager delegating the ability of general delegation?

Posted by mike_nahas Oct 05th 10:54 PM

Title, from building permits for single structures to more complex approvals that affect larger areas or implicate specialized development regulations

“implicate” is probably not the best word here.


Posted by mike_nahas Oct 05th 10:12 PM

A plan review determination under this section does not authorize construction, but constitutes a final determination as to the type of review process required for a proposed development.

Does “final” here mean that staff cannot change their mind or that applicants cannot appeal the decision? Or both? If staff later determines that a limited site plan is no longer appropriate and they want to see a full site plan, how do they do that?


Posted by lwimberley Oct 05th 10:40 PM

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Everything that is under Residential House-Scale zoning should not need a site plan. It should be just under residential review. If you can build a 6000 sq.ft. McMansion without a site plan, you should be able to build a smaller building with multiple units. Multiple units should not trigger site plans.


Posted by mike_nahas Oct 05th 10:32 PM

For a demolition, the foundation or structure does not cover more than 10,000 square feet

This sentence covers when a demolition can use the limited site plan application. It says if the foundation is more than 10,000 sq. ft. then the applicant must apply for a full site plan. A 10,000 sq. ft. foundation seems like a strange cut-off. I would expect aspect that pose a danger to workers, like the height of the structure being demolished. I’d also expect aspect that pose a danger to nearby structures or people: like the nearness of other structures, the nearness of property boundaries, and the demolition methods being used. While the director has discretion of the decision, this seems like a strange reason for overruling the discretion.


Posted by mike_nahas Oct 05th 10:57 PM

Single-Family Construction. Construction or alteration of a single-family residential land use structure, single-family attached land use or duplex residential land use structure, an accessory dwelling unit, or an accessory structure

I’d suggest changing the bold text for 23-6B-1030.D.1 from “Single-Family Construction” to “Residential Construction of One to Two Units”. On the previous page, 23-6B-1030.C.2.l mentions “Residential Construction of Three to Eight Units.”. As the bold text reads now, it’s unclear where duplexes are covered.


Posted by mike_nahas Oct 05th 10:16 PM

Nuances to properties and structures adjacent to the development site

Typo. “nuances to” should be “nuances of”


Posted by mike_nahas Oct 05th 10:29 PM

the centerline of the proposed tower

The “centerline” in radio is defined as “the perpendicular bisector of the line connecting two radio transmitters.” If there is another definition in construction, it is not listed in the dictionary. (There is a definition for centerline of a road.) I don’t think you need to use “centerline” here, “center” should suffice.


Posted by mike_nahas Oct 05th 10:37 PM

Require the applicant to obtain approval of a building permit under Article 23-6C (Building and Demolition Permits), in addition to review under this division.

23-6B-3020.B.2 says that some applications will require a Building and Demolition Permit, in addition to the Limited Site Plan. It seems strange to mention it in that location and to not mention it in 23-6B-1020.B, which says one or the other is required.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:20 AM

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This is excellent for future CapMetro uses, way to go staff working within the ASMP

Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:00 AM

Increasing housing affordability and community health through a robust and accessible transportation network;

“Equitable” is a stronger and more encompassing word than “accessible”

Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:57 AM

Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to implement the Transportation Plan by:

It would be more powerful to name the “Transportation Plan” - the ASMP was passed last spring and should be named in the code.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:54 AM

Draft 3 Februrary 2018

This is the wrong code, we don’t want to confuse this with CodeNEXT, and it applies to every page, not just this page.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:12 PM

Adjacent and Abutting Streets. For a street required adjacent to or abutting a proposed development, the City may require that up to the entire right-of-way be dedicated and improved to city design standards depending on

More good transportation code text, it is great that landowners must improve the entire right-of-way. This will help complete the sidewalk system.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:20 PM

The director shall require an initial demonstration that a proposed development will be adequately served by transportation infrastructure when the first application depicting a specific plan for development is submitted. Depending on the nature of the proposed development and the adequacy of existing transportation infrastructure, an evaluation of right-of-way needs under this section may be required for:

Language is too complex and vague, consider simplifying.

Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:15 PM

Frontage Roads. If a frontage road or service street is required for state or federally designated highways, the entire abutting right-of-way shall be dedicated and improved to applicable design standards and specifications.

This is amazing, converting frontage roads into city streets. However, this could be severely dangerous if speed limits along frontage roads are not reduced and “vision zero” or “safe streets” initiatives are not implemented to reduce auto-pedestrian conflicts, but this is addressed in the ASMP.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:27 PM

Technical Requirements. The director shall base right-of-way alignment on engineering criteria related to the safe use and maintenance of public right-of-way, including grade, sight distance, turning radii, curvature, existing green infrastructure, and the existence of flood plain or wildfire hazards. These criteria are primary considerations to be used in determining right-of-way alignment and are controlling over other criteria in the event of conflict.

Studies show that basing safety criteria on engineering standards favor auto uses, which creates unsafe situations for pedestrians and nonmotorized uses. Consider referring to the ASMP and Vision Zero instead of traditional engineering standards.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:31 PM

The purpose of reserving right-of-way is to avoid conflicts between new development and future transportation improvements for which acquisition of right-of-way may be required by the City or another governmental entity.

Good, conforms with the ASMP.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:52 PM

To determine a street’s existing trip count, the director shall rely on most recent data or establish a current trip count based on generally accepted guidelines.

The “most recent data” does not accurately predict transit and nonmotorized uses because of historic trends where the automobile dominates transportation in Austin. Relying on old standards will not lead to a 5050 mode split in 20 years.

Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:49 PM

To determine the vehicle trips associated with a land use or mix of uses, the director shall base the calculation on the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Trip Generation Manual and standards adopted in the Transportation Criteria Manual.

This WILL NOT help achieve a 5050 mode split by 2039 as called for by the May Council directives and the ASMP. The ITE favors automobile travel and bases its models on past trends, which neglects the growth of transit and nonmotorized uses. This has to be reconsidered or else this code with not work in accordance to the ASMP.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:06 PM

A TDM plan is required for a development application that is subject to comprehensive transportation review under this division or as otherwise provided by this Title. If an application is not required to include a TDM plan under this Title, an applicant may submit a TDM plan voluntarily, but may not rely on TDM measures to satisfy requirements of this Title unless specifically authorized by this Title.

Good, fits with ASMP and May council direction

Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:02 PM

Projected multi-modal traffic generated by a proposed development

Using the ITE models will not give an accurate depiction of multi-modal traffic generation, this contradicts with earlier code text.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:07 PM

Active Modes Analysis. An analysis that identifies existing and potential opportunities for pedestrian and bicycle connections between a proposed development and adjoining transportation facilities suitable for pedestrian and bicycle travel.

Contradictions earlier call for using ITE trip prediction models


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:25 PM

Evaluate the existing and projected operating multi-modal level of service of identified residential streets;

Evaluations based on level of service detract from measuring accessibility, which is stressed in the ASMP and May council directive.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:33 PM

Reducing the density or intensity of the development, to the extent necessary to ensure that the capacity of the street network can safely accommodate vehicle trips generated by the proposed development.

This wholeheartedly does not fit with the ASMP. It is a false assumption that increasing density will negatively impact the street network. This goes back to ITE trip calculators, which neglect transit and nonmotorized uses. The street network, when expanded to include pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users, can more than accommodate increased intensities. And increased density and mixed use, which this code generally calls for, will reduce the need for transportation thus reducing the stress on the street network. This needs serious reconsideration.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:23 PM

Transit facility improvements.

Highlight the need for bus shelters at bus stops.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:45 PM

A stand-alone driveway not associated with a land use.

Good, consistent with ASMP


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:50 PM

A permittee shall pay the cost of relocating a public utility’s storm water drainage improvement, water and waste water mains and facilities, electrical equipment, traffic signal equipment, communications equipment, or trees required by the permittee’s proposed construction.

There should be a timeline associated with the reinstallation of transportation facilities. Ex. the protected bike lane along Rio Grande through West Campus has been removed for construction, and after construction has been completed is still missing.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:52 PM

The director may require partial or complete closure of an existing driveway, consistent with the Transportation Criteria Manual, if the director determines that impacts of the driveway on the adjoining street network pose a threat to public safety.

Excellent, improves safety and works with the ASMP.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:24 PM

Except as provided in Subsection (B)(2), a subdivision plat or a site plan may not provide for direct access from a lot to a major street unless the lot contains 330 feet or more of frontage on the major street and alternative access is not available.

Access for automobiles or pedestrians?


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:27 PM

The arrangement of streets shall provide for the alignment and continuation of existing or proposed streets into adjoining lands that are:

Directly from ASMP, beautiful.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:48 PM

A subdivision or site plan may have only one point of access if the director determines that:

For pedestrians or automobiles? This transportation section is highly auto-centric and the language of the whole chapter should be reconsidered to include nonmotorized uses.


Posted by ewise23 Oct 05th 10:08 PM

If the road utility district is in the city’s two mile extraterritorial jurisdiction at the time of application, agree to petition for annexation at the time the road utility district becomes contiguous to the city boundary.

This is great for future planning and extending the city’s control over the road network.


Posted by nsguko Oct 05th 10:37 PM

Table 23-9A-3020(A) Amount of Cost Participation (Water)

Adding the 6” and 8” pipe to this table is unnecessary and may. These diameters are so close in function that upsizing to an 8” when a 6” is required is advisable and should not be penalized. The current code supports this. Additionally the 2019 revised table does not specify cost of participation for pipes over 48” whereas the current code addresses this scenario.


Posted by nsguko Oct 05th 10:35 PM

(C) If the property owner decreases the number of service units for a development under an unexpired site plan, the property owner is entitled to a credit of the impact fee at that property for the amounts represented by the decrease in service units based on the fee to be collected for each service unit and credits or discounts in effect at the time the fee was paid.

The current code states a refund is due the developer if service units decrease. The draft now states a credit to the developer instead. Does this mean a refund would be issued or is does the city keep the balance and apply it to future developments with this developer?


Posted by dan.keshet Oct 04th 10:45 PM

1. GROSS (GFA). The total enclosed area of all floors in a building with a clear height of more than five feet, measured to the outside surface of the exterior walls. The term excludes loading docks, porches, stoops, basements, attics, stories below grade plane, parking facilities, driveways, and enclosed loading berths and off-street maneuvering areas.

Above-grade parking facilities should be included in Gross Floor Area, and FARs in zones which frequently include above-grade parking facilities should be increased to match. See https://austinonyourfeet.com/2019/09/09/the-regulations-we-need-to-parktheplinth/