austin land development code


  • City Hall maintains a list of 19 amendments it plans to make to our Land Development Code in the near future
  • Most of these initiatives haven’t been shared with the general public
  • They include reduction of compatibility standards, expansion of accessory dwelling unit (ADU) construction, changes to our environmental and water quality regulations, and more

After withdrawing CodeNEXT and losing a legal battle over its sequel, it looks like City Hall has come up with another list of insider-driven ideas for encouraging the redevelopment of neighborhoods. Some of the initiatives will sound familiar, but most haven’t been shared with neighborhood groups or local residents.

We’re doing so now.

Buried deep within the city’s website is a document outlining the project, with 19 amendments that municipal staff foresee making to Austin’s Land Development Code in the coming months, some of them major. They include the following:

  • Relaxation of local compatibility standards (the rules governing the proximity of tall buildings to single-family neighborhoods)
  • Expansion of accessory dwelling units (ADUs)
  • Amendments to environmental and water-quality regulations
  • New exemptions for commercial developments in floodplains
  • And more …

We’ll devote future posts to several of these items, including the changes proposed for our community’s ADU ordinance. According to another hard-to-find memo, city officials plan to implement a recommendation by a land-development industry group known as the Austin Infill Coalition to expand the construction of ADUs on residential lots zoned as SF-1 and SF-2, and to start allowing three units on lots zoned SF-3.

The city’s coziness with land developers and hostility to neighborhoods is nothing new: As we recently reported, our city council now gives local residents only one minute each to make comments during public hearings, while land-development lobbyists are usually granted as much time and access as they want. City officials also deliberately delay the release of draft ordinances until the last possible minute, impeding public input.

Please contact Mayor Adler and your representative on the Austin City Council using the information below and tell them this must stop! All of City Hall’s latest Land Development Code amendments deserve full transparency and public input. Tell them we live in a democracy, and that local residents must be included. Check this map if you aren’t sure which council member represents you.

Together we can build an Austin for everyone!

Mayor Steve Adler: | 512-978-2100

Natasha Harper-Madison (District 1): | 512-978-2101

Vanessa Fuentes (District 2): | 512-978-2102

Sabino “Pio” Renteria (District 3): | 512-978-2103

José “Chito” Vela (District 4): | 512-978-2104

Ann Kitchen (District 5): | 512-978-2105

Mackenzie Kelly (District 6): | 512-978-2106

Leslie Pool (District 7): | 512-978-2107

Paige Ellis (District 8): | 512-978-2108

Kathie Tovo (District 9): | 512-978-2109

Alison Alter (District 10): | 512-978-2110

You may send a single email to the mayor and all council members using this form.