Amid COVID-19 response, City of Austin postpones land code overhaul discussion

Austin

Proposed and current zoning under Austin’s land use code. Yellow signifies SF/ Family Residence Zoning. Orange signifies RM1. Data from City of Austin interactive.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin announced Monday that it will be postponing discussions and actions on the city’s land development code re-write, “in response to the increasing concerns and fluidity of the COVID-19 situation.”

The city’s land development code dictates what can be built and where. It has not had a major overhaul in more than three decades. Originally, City Council was working toward the third of three hearings on the revised code as well as a final vote which would make these changes official. Originally, third reading was scheduled to start on March 31.

The meetings being postponed include:

  • Tuesday, March 24, at 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 28 at 9 a.m.
  • Tuesday, March 31 at 9 a.m.
  • Wednesday, April 1 at 9 a.m.
  • Thursday, April 2 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, April 7

A city spokesperson explained that they don’t have an estimate for when these meetings will be rescheduled at this time. He explained that the COVID-19 situation “is fluid so [there’s] no real way of knowing.”

The city’s efforts to overhaul the land development code are also being challenged in court. Last Wednesday, 19 property owners argued that the city’s process infringed on their property protest rights. A Travis County District Court Judge is still weighing her decision on the case.

At more than 1,300 pages, the land development code revision is extremely long but it covers a huge range of topics — affordable housing, flood prevention, parking requirements, “granny flats” and everything in between.

The city council approved the first and second readings of the revised code in 7-4 votes.

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