AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s something the University of Texas researchers say is a top solution for making our city — and major cities around Texas — more affordable: Incentivizing development by adjusting land development codes.
Austin City Council has passed several amendments to its code to do that over the past year. Many of those adjustments you’ve seen right here on KXAN, including making it easier to open and operate a daycare in childcare deserts and eliminating parking minimums city-wide.
But just because the council signs off on an amendment doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. City of Austin leadership said they were working through staffing shortages which makes it more challenging to get the amendments finalized.
“There are amendments that seem like they would be really straightforward but they’re hard and parking is one of them,” Brent Lloyd, who works on Austin’s Land Development Code revision team, said in a briefing to some council members earlier this month.
Council members on the Housing and Planning Committee got an update on where those more than two dozen unfinished Land Development Code changes stand at that meeting. City staff said they have at least 30 they’re still working through. Roughly a third of those changes haven’t been started yet.
That’s why the council will come back next month as a full body and discuss priorities for city staff.
“We have to choose if something is important to us but we can wait 6 or 9 months for them to pick it up,” Council Member Ryan Alter of District 5 said.
Meanwhile, more items are expected to be added to that growing list. Council Member Chito Vela said he’s working on a resolution to change compatibility rules — or restrictions to building height near single-family homes — after the Texas Legislature failed to pass a bill to do something similar.