Invitation to Panel discussion about effective engagement in land development decision-making at the City of Austin

Please join us this coming Monday night, December 5th for a panel discussion about effective engagement in land development decision-making at the City of Austin.
Our panel will include the Honorable Laura Morrison, Attorney and Former Planning Commissioner James Nortey, and Attorney Richard Suttle.
The moderator will be Brianna Frey. Light refreshments will be served, parking is free in the front lot of One Texas Center.

Panel Discussion: Tips & Tools for Effective Engagement in Land Development Decision-Making

Monday December 5
7:00 – 8:30
One Texas Center
505 Barton Springs Rd
3rd floor Training Room 325

Jody Zemel
Neighborhood Assistance Center | City of Austin

Phone: 512.974.7117
Please note: E-mail correspondence to and from the City of Austin is subject to requests for required disclosure under the Public Information Act

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Much thanks Jody! I’ve added this event to our calendar.

Oof, looks like I can’t go tonight, unfortunately. Anyone from FAN going that could share notes?

I also missed this meeting on such short notice. And to be honest seeing the panel I wasn’t sure it would be fruitful to make it a priority to be there as a renter given all of my other commitments.

But our member Tim Thomas was in attendance and took some notes that you can visit in his google doc here.


I’ve been informed that there was some follow up messaging to this meeting sent out from City Staff:

Dear Community Member,

Following up our December 5, 2016 panel discussion on “Effective Engagement for Neighborhoods Working with Developers and the City of Austin” , please find attached a copy of the 2012 Neighborhood Housing and Community Development (NHCD) “Good Neighbor Guidelines”.

In addition, page 207 of Imagine Austin was referenced numerous times regarding Neighborhood Plans, compatibility standards and rewrite of the Land Development Code (CodeNEXT). A copy of page 207 is also attached to this email. You can download the entire Imagine Austin plan at: Imagine Austin Resources |

As a final point, a representative from the City Auditor’s office will discuss the recent Audit on Neighborhood Planning at the next Quarterly Neighborhood Plan Contact Team Training in early 2017. Please stay tuned for more details.

Page 207 of Imagine Austin linked here and quoted below:

8. Revise Austin’s development regulations and processes to promote each of the priority programs and the adopted policies and goals of Imagine Austin.

Austin’s City Charter requires that land development regulations be consistent with the comprehensive plan. Significant revisions to existing regulations will be necessary to fully implement the priority programs described above. For example, Imagine Austin calls for new development and redevelopment to be compact and connected, but many elements of the existing Land Development Code make this difficult to accomplish. Achieving these goals will require a comprehensive review and revision of the Land Development Code, associated technical and criteria manuals, and administrative procedures.

Since its adoption in 1987, the Land Development Code has been a continually modified and updated document, reflecting countless hours of community participation and input. Elements of the Land Development Code and the broader City Code incorporate carefully crafted compromises and significant community decisions that have been reached through long-lasting committees, task forces, and citizen referenda.

The existing neighborhood and area plans were crafted within context of this code and decisions were reached based upon the assumptions of the continued utilization of its provisions. This includes elements of the Land Development Code that are not specifically addressed in neighborhood and area plans but on which decisions were based (e.g., compatibility standards). The vision of the comprehensive plan can be achieved by retaining these protections and the approaches taken in the neighborhood and area plans.

Any suggested rewrite of the City Code, while striving to achieve the broad goals of the comprehensive plan, must recognize, respect, and reflect these carefully crafted compromises, balances, and the assumptions upon which the existing neighborhood and area plans were based and depend.

Continued protection and preservation of existing neighborhoods and the natural environment must be considered top priorities of comprehensive revisions to the City Code. The consequences and impact of additional density and infill in existing neighborhoods must be carefully identified and analyzed to avoid endangering the existing character of neighborhoods and exacerbating community health and safety issues, such as flooding.

Impacts on sustainability and livability by increased infill and density of units, including associated infrastructure costs and impacts on affordability, should be identified prior to adoption of a new city code. Modifications to the City code and building code should be measured with regard to their ability to preserve neighborhood character, consistency with adopted neighborhood and area plans, impact on affordability, and the ability of existing families to continue to reside in their homes.