FAN CodeNext Statement - Please Review!

Y’all - please check this out - have incorporated comments and existing statement language from FAN member orgs. Feel free to click through the link to access the draft or leave comments here.

I am looking to get a final draft up for a membership vote hopefully by this Fri.


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It’s a bit long still.

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Sorry if I missed the notice of invitation to submit concerns or attend discussion on same - I had asked earlier.

For 1. I would propose for consideration adding: consider the watershed when making vertical vs. horizontal tradeoffs,

For 2. I would propose we cross of “to the interior of our” and replace that with “in”. We don’t even have the corridor transition zones coded yet to support the Grand Bargain on corridors and activity centers- reference Judges Hill, South Lamar member NA’s concerns.

For 3. I would propose that be re-written. I think the point is we want existing forms allowed by right (remember the community character work), provide more flexibility in allowing those same forms to provide additional residences (wasn’t that the whole point of form based code?), and in no cases limit a property owner to less FAR and residential housing rights than exist today. The good news is that form by right and FAR by right are items both sides of the divide agree on - so I am encouraged we are starting to find common ground as an opening to working together.

Fort 5. I would propose: CodeNEXT should allow more flexibility regarding slope, large lots, irregular lot lines,… I believe the two I have added here are having a much bigger impact on the modeled build capacity, but then I am not just talking about low density. It does not make sense for an acre lot to have the same build capacity as a 1/4 acre lot, even T4N can produce lower FAR than SF3.

It is a bit long. I’d suggest that 1. through 5. make up 2/3’s and certainly no less than 50% of the content. We want people to get to the feature movie, and not bail out because the commercials were too long.

Thanks for your work on this, above is just top of mind, certainly missing stuff. Happy to meet if you want to and collaborate on another round of tuning.

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Phil, thanks for this. You are the only one who replied.

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I’m not sure I think fan should issue a very detailed specific code recommendation set. I think it’s more important as the overall organization to show that we have lots of member organizations to have their own particulars. The point of the statement in my opinion is to reference those generally, and get across to the stakeholders that we, as an organization, are very much a plug-in to lots of different neighborhoods

The specifics that you mention each member statement has in detail, including my own

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I would suggest changing “rapid influx of strangers” in the preface to “rapid influx of new residents” or something similar.

Would what we are voting on start at “FAN appreciates?” If so we could add a break above that sentence or we could put “Vote” above it similar to the “Preface” section.

Could we add a section about activity corridors and centers, parking requirements, and CodeNEXT applying to all neighborhoods? Something like the following? Or is this getting into too many specific recommendations?

  1. All Imagine Austin activity corridors and centers should be zoned at a minimum of T5.

  2. Parking requirements should be eliminated for residential dwellings within 1/2 mile of Imagine Austin activity corridors and activity centers.

  3. Parking requirements should be eliminated for retail, restaurants, and bars less than 2,500 sqft.

  4. CodeNEXT mapping should apply to all central Austin neighborhoods. No central Austin neighborhood should be exempt from CodeNEXT.

Maybe we can just reference the member statements themselves. Put a little more language around where we are getting the actual recommendation part. This will allow us to not get in the weeds, but make sure we are getting across specific concerns. Again, the point of the statement from fan is that it shows our strength as an umbrella organization, and gives code next planners or something concrete to work with in terms of both support And critique

Matt, if I may make a suggestion, it appears FAN will have an opportunity to comment on three different topics at three different times, (1) the code, (2) the density bonus plan, (3) the map.

(1) the code - is coming up as a first deadline for providing public input, and it is only 8 days away. Should we be focused on that area? It may be a more manageable chunk. Given where we are the content of that would be a Board decision as there will not be time for a vote. Some possibilities, which I am not wed to, but to start the thinking if we go that way:

*** Transect codes which allow all property owners to maintain their current form and FAR, independent of whether additional residences may be allowed within that form. I think ANC, FAN, AURA, EVOLVE, and a bunch of folks would agree with that, let’s ask. Form based code was supposed to be the drill, not down zoning. I would much rather see, and it would be better for the planet, a model that allows people to subdivide properties above a certain size to X units, or Y units, and build a second story to get more, than try to get there waiting for people to financially justify doing a tear down and replace strategy. Where those X & Y rights go should be the debate.

*** ADU rules consistent with Council ordinance on same (code and maps - can’t hurt to say because it overlaps).
*** Transect codes for transition zone block between higher density blocks adjacent to corridors and lower density neighborhood interior.

If we were to state a community value, I think a candidate would be that we all want to feel like we are being treated fairly, even if that does not mean we all end up at the same place. Hyde Park should not be excluded from ADU’s, and Old Enfield + Pemberton (etc…) involuntarily opted into the program because of who their historic district is registered with. The ADU ordinance was a big step forward and the Council direction should be honored. Judges Hill should not be downzoned to mirror Pemberton and Tarrytown to please a few landmark property owners. Duplexes, triplexes, co-op, condo’s, apartments, commercial all co-exist with SF and you can not tell which is which immediately based on building form, that is what CodeNEXT transects are supposed to be partly about. Downzoning Judges Hill to T3 / LMDR is not only missing the point, but just means others have to pick up the slack in areas where buses do not run nearby, much less run constantly.

The plan is to put up new draft tomorrow, then put it out for membership vote on Fri.

We are trying to keep it concise, with a good balance of high level admonishment around key values/priniciples, and some specific focus areas for the code.

We will be sending our statement along with all the member association statements attached, so the purpose of our letter is to make sure that CAG sees there is some unity behind several table stakes.

You might want to include a statement on the number of member N/A’s and at-large-members, and that 3 (or whatever) have already completed a… copies of which are attached. I have been thinking of things more in terms of the CodeNEXT schedule milestones for my work, great that others are further along in engaging!

Appreciate the update.

Here is a marked up version with suggestions from a FAN member. Sorry for the separate document.

I believe now is the time to be very specific about issues with this code. If not now, When?

Parking will become a huge issue.
Given that many SF_3 communities are in the 1/4 mile distance and they are lining up against even the reduction to one space, I’d suggest you really think about what is practical in a town with very little mass transit now. Reducing parking by regulation would be an improvement but not allowing market driven parking will be a disaster.
Required parking could be reduced to one space within the 1/4 mile distance while no minimums might be acceptable within the corridors. Right now structured parking is prohibited in T4 MS and T5 MS, which is a really misinformed idea. Parking needs to be provided in commercial developments, preferably to market driven numbers. This would alleviate residential opposition to what they see is asking their streets to provide parking. Right now a MS development model can not be achieved without structured parking and we should be encouraging structured parking in lieu of surface parking.

On k y’all I opened up the doc - had to fight my way through mobile GDoc he’ll…

not allowing market driven parking will be a disaster

@betty I don’t see anything in the draft statement about not allowing market-driven parking. It just calls for not forcing private developers and homeowners to provide so much parking.

No T3 transect is any kind of “transition” and we should not under any circumstances be calling for any T3 anywhere in the urban core right out of the gate. If we have to settle for transition zones of T5N and then T4NC between the T5MS+T5U on the Core Transit Corridors and T3 in the interior of some of these neighborhoods – fine, but that’s still preserving exclusion in the interiors. Honestly even most of the T4 zones are pretty weak for the urban core.

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Y’all - newest edits incorporated - please review…Final draft to be submitted today at 2PM.

I’m making some minor suggestions in the Google doc, but I also think we need to mention impervious cover.

Maybe @Pete_Gilcrease can tweak the language of impact area 3 so it’s clear that NCCDs and overlays should be replaced with transects?

How about incorporating:

Replace impervious cover limits with a monthly fee for all land owners. The fee would be proportional to the square footage of impervious cover, no matter the expense of the land or the number of units on the land.

(Credit goes to @mdahmus for this idea.)