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Austin mayor wants to scrap code overhaul, start again

Adler cites CodeNEXT ‘misinformation’ problem

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Austin Mayor Steve Adler has called for an end to multiyear discussion on CodeNext, a plan to overhaul the city’s land-use code, KUT reported Wednesday.

According to the radio station’s website, Adler asked the city manager to create a new process for the code reboot, posting the request on an Austin City Council message board. The mayor took the position that the current rewrite, on which the city has spent around $8.5 million and six years, should be thrown out and that the city needs to start over.

Adler’s reason, the station’s Audrey McGlinchy reported, is the “misinformation” he believes has surrounded the conversation about the process. On the message board, he cited some preposterous-sounding beliefs about the proposed new code system that have been expressed publicly—the idea, for instance, that every home in a particular neighborhood “will be demolished and each lot subdivided into 25-foot widths”—as evidence that the process is “largely misunderstood.” Earlier in the post, he called the current state of the CodeNext conversation “divisive and poisoned.”

In subsequent posts on the same board, Council Member Ann Kitchen expressed agreement with the mayor’s position, and Council Members Jimmy Flannigan posted an announcement that he, Greg Casar, Sabino Renteria, and Delia Garza will be submitting a council resolution directing city manager Spencer Cronk to develop a new process for achieving a land development code that meets the goals of the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan and other adopted precursors to CodeNext planning.

That the process has divisive is not in doubt, McGlinchy noted, citing a recent petition that city residents be allowed to vote on such massive rewrites of city code and a judge’s ruling that CodeNext be put on November’s voting ballot.

‘Something Has Gone Horribly Wrong’: Adler Calls For A Reset On CodeNEXT Process [KUT]

Recoding Austin [Curbed]