Do you know what land use plans are? Do you know what they are intended to do? Do you think land use plans are boring and benign? I hope not! Austin’s upcoming land use plan (a.k.a. “zoning”) will have adverse consequences to neighborhoods throughout Austin, but especially neighborhoods close to center city or urban core. City Council Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4 will be hit first and hit hardest. Watching this film will prove that to you.
Austin's City Council is planning to fast-track the next installment of CodeNEXT. This warmed-over version of last year’s plan will reshape neighborhoods across the city, impair the value of the property of individuals who want to live in family homes, crush the “American Dream' of home ownership created across generations, and push individuals out of Austin who are viewed as disposable or not valued.
The film “ZONED OUT” exposes these threats. The film was created by nationally known director Steve Mims. It shows the dramatic and negative impact of land use policy on Austin neighborhoods and Austinites. The story is told with simple, direct imagery and compelling interviews. This film is a wake-up call to Austinites of all backgrounds, creeds, income levels, and ethnicities. You should invite your neighbors to watch it with you.
Austin’s land use plans have historically been developed by and for real estate developers and to increase tax revenue – not for the average, ordinary citizens. In 2018, just before the council election and because of the uproar of citizens across the city, the initial and costly installment of CodeNEXT was halted.
Now, the city has simply revived CodeNEXT and intends to force it on property throughout, Austin regardless of your desires as the owner of the property.
Your property will be rezoned from single family to dense residential and your taxes will increase – without your agreement. The zoning will reshape our city and driven out individuals who have called Austin home for years and who want to remain in the city.
Be alert, pay attention, and watch out! The city plans to fast-track the “next installment of CodeNEXT”. The city will unveil the plan on October 4th and the City Council is scheduled to take a final vote in December, less than 2 months later. Clearly there will not be enough time for ordinary citizens to understand the impact the code will have on their property, offer suggestions, resist the code changes or the unintended consequences that will occur.
The most controversial issue in the new plan is “up-zoning.” Up-zoning is another city tool, much like urban renewal, which causes property to change hands from one group of people to another. Up-zoning replaces single-family homes with a minimum of four housing units on the same lot. Up-zoning is the city’s tool to turn over Austin from those people judged less desirable to those who are judged more desirable. Up-zoning is a land grab by developers and an attack on single family homeowners who want to continue to live in their “little piece of heaven.”
Land use upheaval will impact all neighborhoods, but the neighborhoods hit hardest and quickest are those close to center city, inside the urban core, and east to Hwy183.
Tens of thousands of homes near major roads and activity centers will be included in “transition zones.” Property in or near these transition zones will be up-zoned from single family homes to multi-family homes in the ongoing saga of CodeNEXT. See this map to find out if your home will be up-zoned.
You can watch “ZONED OUT: The Legacy of CodeNEXT” on your computer or smartphone by clicking this link. You can watch the film on your smart TV by going to the YouTube channel and searching YouTube for “ZONED OUT.”
For more information about the film and the new land use plan, please see this article in the Austin Bulldog.