Position on Proposition J

I am opening up discussion of Proposition J here, in anticipation of a vote of the FAN membership on preferred city council candidate and ballot propositions.

Proposition J calls for requiring both a waiting period and subsequent voter approval period, a total of up to three years, before future comprehensive revisions of the City’s land development code become effective. More details are here. For example, had CodeNEXT finalized, and city council had approved it, the ordinance stemming from the proposition would have required the waiting period and approval in a voter referendum before the new land development code could take effect.

There are two sets of issues here, as far as I can tell:

  1. Process. How should Austin govern itself? Under what circumstances should the officials we elect make decisions, and under what circumstances should decisions require a referendum?
  2. Practical Implications. It is clear those who pushed for this proposition did so with the intention of obstructing the adoption of a more inclusive and less protectionist land development code. Would this proposition, in practice, make it more difficult for FAN to make progress towards its vision of more abundant and diverse housing throughout neighborhoods?

I would urge FANs to oppose this proposition, for both process reasons and its practical effects.

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