En route to CodeNEXT : a brief analysis of first two drafts of proposed land development code for the City of Austin

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2018-05-08

Authors

Gunjan, Nupur

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Abstract

CodeNEXT, shaping the Austin we imagine, is a process to rewrite the Land Development Code (LDC) for the City of Austin, TX. “Austin’s greatest asset is its people: passionate about our city committed to its improvement, and determined to see this vision become a reality” (Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan [IACP], 2012). The spirit of Austin is its people, but with rapid urbanizations, many residents of Austin feel that their city is changing. With the CodeNEXT process, the fear of change became prominent. This report explores the importance first in the historical context by briefly reviewing the history of planning practices, Austin’s unique natural features, prior comprehensive plans, citizen communications, political dynamics, and city reports. I conclude that the city has been divided over planning issues throughout the last century. The interesting part of the CodeNEXT process is the changing coalitions in the city which may be an outcome of the changing dynamics of the planning process in the 21st-century cities. A city undertaking a complete rewrite of its land development code is rare. Though the CodeNEXT process has many lessons that can be valuable for planners, in this report, I conclude with three key factors form my analysis that made the CodeNEXT process controversial and longer than expected.

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