A historic day for zoning reform

Tomorrow at City Hall.

A historic day for zoning reform
A child frolics among bluebonnets.

Tomorrow is a very big deal for the future of Austin. At 9 a.m. the City Council will hold a joint public hearing with the Planning Commission on a series of proposed changes to the land development code.

This is just a public hearing. No action will be taken. The Planning Commission will actually take up the proposed code amendments –– and potentially recommend changes –– over two meetings on April 23 and 30. Council will then take up the matter next month.

Remember, this weird joint meeting is the result of a strange provision of state law that allows the city to evade the legal gimmicks that local NIMBYs have used to obstruct zoning reform in the past.

A similar joint meeting in December resulted in a number of LDC changes, most notably allowing three units on single-family lots, known as HOME Phase 1. Tomorrow they'll be taking up other changes to single-family lots (HOME Phase 2) as well as some big code changes aimed at bolstering multi-family housing.

Let's take a look at what is proposed and whether what is proposed is good enough.