CodeNEXT: Eliminate Minimum Lot Depths?

FANs interested in CodeNEXT met Saturday, August 12 to discuss recommendations that FAN could make to City Council, Planning Commission, Zoning and Platting Commission (ZAP), staff, and consultants. In the near future, FAN members will have an opportunity to vote on whether to support each possible recommendation. In keeping with FAN’s openness, transparency, and use of technology to include more people in the conversation, we are inviting discussion here on the forum about each recommendation before it is put to a vote.

1. What do you think of this recommendation?
2. What would you change, if anything?
3. What do you think of the rationale?
4. Do you have specific examples from staff’s existing CodeNEXT proposals that you believe must change to satisfy this recommendation?


Eliminate minimum lot depths.


  • Minimum lot depths limit housing diversity.
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Perhaps we should extend this recommendation to eliminate minimum lot sizes (widths as well as depths)?


I think we should. We could either combine them into a single recommendation or separate recommendations, but it might make since to include them all in one place. “Eliminate Minimum Lot Sizes, Depths, Widths.”

Do we want to make a recommendation on setbacks too? Would that go under this or another recommendation?

What do you think the recommendation should be on setbacks, and why?

I don’t think you will have any success at just “eliminating” lot dimensions or sizes. You could get an agreement on matching small lots found in all other major cities: 2500 sf, 25’ wide, 100’ deep. Minimum setbacks should match those found in other cities and Austin with small lots. Typically could be 5’ side, 15’ back and 25’ front for residential at SF-3 zoning equivalents. Other zonings for residential could be less or what is appropriate for street type. I would like to see more context in CodeNext based on street type not transects which seem to have no context. I think the major issue to push back against is the uniformity of footprints dictated in the CodeNext draft, which could set this town up to look like Levittown. Austin’s reputation is as a city of creativity and creative minds. Have dictated footprints goes against that in all ways and should be fought hard.

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3 posts were split to a new topic: CodeNEXT: Reduce and Eliminate Setback Requirements?

I’ll move the setbacks discussion to another thread so there’s not two issues in one place.

How about = Eliminate concept of lots. Land is land. Don’t know what they do elsewhere, but this concept seems to create many obstacles and I am not sure where or how it adds value. At least in an urban environment

To clarify, propose elininating the concept of restrictions linked to the measurement unit "lot’. A lot can be 5750 SF, or less, or 5+ acres. Other variables should be controlling, to the extent that is desired, in an urban environment.

We plan on putting these recommendations to a vote starting sometime tomorrow. If you have any further specific recommendations for wording changes or examples that can be used in the “rationale” section such as links to specific research or articles, please let post here sometime today! I’ve included what I believe to be the latest wording for this recommendation below based on what everyone has said here, but if I missed something, please let us know.


Eliminate minimum lot measurement restrictions (lot depths, lot sizes, and lot widths).


  • Minimum lot measurements limit housing diversity and smaller scale housing.
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Another rationale is that they limit the abundance of housing.