In an early Friday morning vote, the Austin City Council decided not to pass an ordinance that would require voters to approve any large-scale changes to the city’s land development code. The close 4-6 vote means CodeNext will not be on the November ballot, but there is still a chance something else could make its way to the ballot that would essentially give voters that same voice in zoning code decisions.
A petition signed by 31,000 people would mandate the exact same thing the voted-down ordinance would have done. In order for it to be on the November ballot, city council has to approve it. However, city attorneys say the petition may violate the city charter by taking zoning decisions out of the council’s hands.
The close vote might also indicate how council members will vote on CodeNext, the city’s first major overhaul of zoning regulations in three decades. It would say what and where things can be built in Austin, including affordable homes, green infrastructure, mobility options and the character and look of neighborhoods.
People can share their opinions on the plan during two public hearings May 29 and June 2.
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