CodeNext Closing Presentation Notes

*I went to yesteday’s CodeNext closing presentation. They’ll post the video in the next week or so, but I thought others may be interested in my notes. Fair warning: I took these on my iPad. Let me know if you want me to clarify any points. *

CodeNext Closing Presentation
COA Planning (Matthew Lewis) & Opticos

Audience was probably 50-80ish people and appeared to be
20+% CodeNext, city employees, and CAG members
CM Kitchen was in audience
Most of audience had participated in CodeNext events


  • Six weeks until public report is released, but they’ll put up a recording of presentation sooner (
  • Team will continue Coffee & CodeNext and presentations to community groups (by request)
  • Fall 2016 target release for public draft
  • 577 signed into charrette process during week, probably 100 more that didn’t sign in
  • CM Casar, CM Houston, and Mayor Adler came by
  • According to them, fewer people at final presentation means successful charrette process
  • Events described as “art show meets neighborhood picnic”
  • All drawings were created in last week
  • They will be looking at comments from post-it notes more comprehensively later

Guiding Principles

P1- Integrate wide range of affordability tools…

  • Entitlement enhancements- they have heard that current VMU density bonus has been most successful.
  • They want to do this more, but alter size and scale
  • Carefully target SF-3
    Example.4 vs 8 units in same visual, sized structure
    How can we do a density bonus program that connects scale of structures and number of units?
    Character stays the same. Goal is to grow inside, not outside.
    The areas targeted for increased density would be carefully selected based on things like proximity to transit.


  • The building never gets bigger than scale of a house even though there are multiple units within it
  • Redefining duplex…
  • Change name of duplex to remove negative connotation?
  • Now in Austin: two mini homes on one lot
  • CodeNext: two units in one structure that fits with the visual space of existing neighborhood character

P3- We need to think differently about off street parking requirements

  • We need to get creative. Ex: provide residents with memberships to rides her programs in exchange for lower parking requirements
  • Utilizing space for people
  • Slide linking parking to affordability
  • We’re going to recommend becoming more progressive with parking requirements
  • Less parking required= more affordability
  • Less parking is also less impervious cover

P4- Sharpen compatibility while reinforcing the intent
Write in standards that aren’t just about height, but also articulation (4-sided design)

P5- Develop context-based approach to street design
You can’t design these pretty places without considering utilities.
Strategic mobility plan is now linked with CodeNext

Walk through focus areas (what if…)

12th and Hargrave

  • Complete street network
  • Rain gardens in public ROW
  • Potentially integrating rain gardens and ponds so that we don’t have to think about flood mitigation on lot by lot basis
  • Have compatible buildings, but allow the place to evolve over time

183 and Spicewood- suburban context & on aquifer

  • If we had better regulations in place, what would be an ideal build out?
  • Green spine for floodwater mitigation (Looked similar to Arroyo Seco), bioswale, street design+ walkability
  • Street
    Cycle track separated from traffic
    Compact and connected is different for suburban roads
    A center turn lane down the street tells the buildings that you want continuous curbcuts. Instead, we should have division for improved visual + safety.

183 subdivision- approach as a greenfield subdivision to compare build result with intended result

  • Connectivity within neighborhood and roadways that connect to other destinations, don’t spit all traffic onto a couple roads
  • Turn face of buildings towards creek instead of making them walled off from it

South 1st & Oltorf

  • The lots along S1st are small
  • Bad pedestrian experience because of pedestrian proximity to cars
  • How can you let it evolve in a way that matches its unique character?
  • Pedestrian connection on creek?
  • What if on street parking was put in S1st and street trees were put in?
  • What if development happened at 2-3 story scale? Would it be so bad? Think carefully about depth and width.
  • Short term and longer term strategies-- disallow on street parking during commuting hours?

Manchaca & Slaughter

  • Current- dangerous intersection “Manslaughter”
  • What if the shopping centers died off, what could be done? Transit center?
  • Connections with roads? As part of the CodeNext process, they’re working with ATD. Working with talented transportation engineer helps to come up with creative ideas.
  • Note: green infrastructure winds throughout neighborhoods for flooding/ water quality and people uses
  • Image has large surface parking lot hidden from street view.
  • 5-story buildings in targeted areas
  • Street stubs to provide potential connections to existing neighborhood streets

MLK and Chicon- walkable, urban

  • Lot pattern is really small, neighborhood doesn’t want to see someone buy out and entire block and develop large building
  • Uses are good now, but streets are horrible
  • Incremental infill, form-based districts will ensure fine-grained infill without big setbacks
  • Opportunity for more affordable housing for increased scale?

North Lamar and Justin- transitional between suburban and walkable urban (801 route, DMV here)

  • How can an activity corridor evolve? What is the relationship with surrounding neighborhoods?
  • Specific about form while thinking about use, but not completely focused on limiting uses
  • Lamar vision includes bikes and transit
  • Green street parallel with Lamar for bikes going at lower speeds in comfort
  • How do we think about compatibility when lots are extremely deep? Break apart block to allow density along corridor and transition missing middle between homes.

Stassney & Nuckols crossing

  • Safe school connection
  • Remove one lane from Stassney for retail teaser parking
  • 2-3 story building closer to roads… Surface parking still there, but in back
  • What if corner square civic space that functions for storm water and flood mitigation? Soften corner, provide relief from flooding

Conclusions, next steps

  • Process tested a true sound check: standards, off street parking, onsite food mitigation, economic feasibility, and affordability
  • They need to go back and look at post-its
  • Drafting external admin draft through early next year, public draft June 2016
  • Code updates will be technical conversation (Opticos)
  • Matthew Lewis will be out in public to gather input
  • Great feedback, excited to refine and test thoughts
1 Like

My favorite part: more parking= less affordable

1 Like

@NatalieGauldin Thank you so much for posting these notes. Super helpful to have all this written down. I was also in attendance and I think Natalie has capture the talk really well.

1 Like

@NatalieGauldin Thank you for sharing! The “guiding principles” look promising.