Jim is an experienced city planner and has worked for the City of Austin and consulted with many other cities. He was nominated as an advisor to the process by Mayor Adler. He started his presentation by showing us some headlines and stories that were very unhappy with Code Next. Not everyone is happy with it, but he explained how important it is and how we can be involved.
The Code is a LONG OVERDUE revision of the city code. The draft is 1100 pages long and is available for bedtime reading!
http://www.austintexas.gov/department/draft-ldc- review-and- comment The planning team is hoping that people will look over this and comment.
Code Next is has its origin in the Form Based approach to City Planning. Here are the approaches along with how Jim described them.
Use Based - Keeping the pigs out of the parlor
Performance Based - Defumigating the pigs
Form Based – Putting lipstick on a pig
The approach they are using has its origins in the New Urbanist Movement. In the new Urbanist movement the design is as important as the use. This approach considers the total environment and mandates design details. The goals of this movement are:
Traditional Urban Neighborhood
Public and Private use
Easier to mix uses
Codifies design guidelines
Considers links to public agencies
Attention to the visual.
Takes a long time
No strong emphasis on social equity
Considered by some as a cure all
One more concept that was helpful once it was explained was the transect. It is a tool for planning and organization. For example:
Transect 3 T3
Transect 4 T4
Parking in back
Auto and walking
Transect 6 T6
Austin has 13 transects described. You can see all of them with detailed descriptions here.
Mr. Duncan ended by saying that successful plans have follow through. His example was the city of Miami, Florida. The set up for follow through in Austin is controlled by several different departments. He showed a reorganization that he thinks would make more sense and be more successful in going forward. He emphasized the fact that this should be undertaken ever 5 years.
To read more about it and search through the website. There are videos about it available in English and Spanish:
The city is looking for lots of public feedback. Here are the public meetings that are scheduled:
March 25, 2017
Stephen F. Austin High School (1715 Cesar Chavez St.)
Noon to 2 p.m.
April 1, 2017
Westwood High School (12400 Mellow Meadow Dr.)
Noon to 2 p.m.
April 8, 2017
Anderson High School (8403 Mesa Dr.)
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
There are parts of this project that everyone will not like. It is important to attend a meeting if you have opinions or questions.
Contributor: Janice FriesenSave