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Residents share immediate thoughts on CodeNEXT draft maps

The rewrite of the city's land development code or, CodeNEXT, will be a work in progress for the next year. (CBS Austin)

Tuesday night Austin residents expressed immediate thoughts on the city's new land development code. There were a variety of comments and it's clear many are glad the code is far from final.

The rewrite of the city's land development code, or CodeNEXT, will be a work in progress for the next year. Draft maps released Tuesday show how land will be used and what homes and developments can be built where. The city wants public input and some wasted no time weighing in.

At a CodeNEXT work session Austinites expressed concerns that the new code was too complex, too shortsighted and not going to meet Austin's needs.

"One of the rationales for doing this code is to make it simpler. It's not simpler for our neighborhoods," Jeff Jack, Zilker Neighborhood Association president, said at a joint meeting of the Planning Commission and Platting and Zoning Commission.

"Now where do we accommodate growth 10 years out?" asked resident Frank Harren.

"We are far short of what Imagine Austin says... where we should direct growth as far as activity centers and corridors," explained Roger Cauvin, secretary for Friends of Austin Neighborhoods.

Jennifer Houlihan is a board member for Evolve Austin-- a coalition of organizations representing tens of thousands of Austinites. "We want Austin to be a mobile, affordable, sustainable, livable city for everyone-- not just for some people," Houlihan said.

She explained, in order to make that happen the city will need to make some bold and inclusive decisions over the next year.

"We have a lot of work to do to make sure everybody from Austin has a hand in creating the plan for the city that is going to be our treasure that we leave our children," Houlihan added.

The first community meeting about the new CodeNEXT draft maps is scheduled for Wednesday from 6-9 p.m. at City Hall. Several city council districts will also be hosting their own meetings in the coming days.

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