Think CodeNEXT is dead? Think again. This May, the Austin City Council slapped together a new land-redevelopment plan with the same goal in mind: the replacement of thousands of existing homes with luxurious developments designed to make land speculators wealthy.
This map shows the “transition” zones proposed by the city council, areas where they want to end single-family zoning and encourage the demolition of single-family homes. If your family lives in one of the map’s red or yellow areas, then the land underneath your dwelling could be rezoned before the end of the year. Property taxes and rental rates will skyrocket, and displacement and demolitions will soon follow.
That doesn’t mean that Austinites living outside the city’s transition zones are safe. Here are three reasons why:
1. The mayor hasn’t decided how big the transition zones should be yet.
The transition zones proposed by the city council would rezone all of the homes within a five-lot distance of designated medium-to-large streets, but Mayor Steve Adler has refused to publicly agree to that five-lot limit. That means transition zones could get bigger and target more homes.
2. The city council told city staff to find new places to put multiunit buildings.
When it proposed the creation of transition zones, the city council explicitly asked the city’s staff to identify areas outside of the zones where so-called missing middle housing should be built. The council members refer to these as “high opportunity areas,” and you can view them here.
3. The city council may pull the trigger on more aggressive plans.
Before creating the transition zones, the city council decided it wanted the capacity for 300,000 new housing units located within a half-mile of designated major streets. Much of that new housing will come in the form of luxurious multiunit buildings that replace existing homes, which are more affordable. Nearly all of East, South, and Central Austin would be targeted by such a plan, and council members may decide to combine it with the transition-zone scheme.
If you live in any of Austin’s single-family neighborhoods, then you’re at risk. Unless city officials are stopped, you and your family will be threatened by luxury developments and all the problems they bring: sharply rising taxes and rents, sudden increases in traffic, streets jammed with parked cars, and the displacement of existing residents.
Want to take action? Sign our petition demanding that the city council withdraw its plan. Then consider donating to our efforts. Help us preserve Austin’s most affordable housing, and help us keep our community’s families in their homes!