There are codes in Austin that shape your life. They can help or hurt you, cost you money or save you money, cause frustration or delight.
They shape more than just you.
These codes help or hurt our near and far neighbors, visitors, and the environment.
codes as in rules, not as in secrets
Zoning codes are city rules that tell developers what and how to build on land.
Zoning breaks land into pieces called districts.
Each district has rules that developers and citizens must follow.
zoning is political
the rule makers
In Austin, city planners, developers, and citizens all agree on how to build on land.
Are people who design and organize the city's land.
Are people who buy, build on, and then sell land.
Are people who own, live, work, and play in what developers build.
zoning is a tool
Planners, developers, and citizens often use zoning improve and manage the city.
When a community is kept awake by a noisy factory...
When planners face threats from flash floods...
When developers discover new opportunities for land...
Often it's hard to see the forest from the trees, but nearly everyone agrees their city to be>
What's valuable is rarely a problem, but deciding one value over the other and how to achieve it is.
many problems, many solutions
Conflict begins from people's different beliefs. Beliefs are what we think is true and prioritizes what we value. They define how big problems are and what solutions they need.
Zoning reflects our values and beliefs. What then, do they value and believe?
single use zoning
Restricts a piece of land to one purpose such as a home or business.
It aims to spread growth and separate buildings to reduce overcrowding and increase public health and property values.
Single use zoning protected people and property in an industrial economy. But for Austin's service and high-tech economy, it's rules are ineffective. Large areas of Austin remain zoned this way.
Its rules often lead to car-dependent communities with lengthy car trips, traffic, dangerous streets, few public places, and harm to the environment.
Integrates special zoning rules on top of existing rules.
Overlay zoning offers flexibilty from the strict rules of single use zoning to achieve city or community goals.
Often it protects sensitive areas such as a historic part of town, but has a variety of uses.
A type of zoning overlay that adjusts current zoning rules to balance conflicting desires of a community and a developer.
Incentive zoning encourages a trade-off between a developer's desire for profit and a community's desire for benefits such as parks and affordable homes.
A type of zoning overlay that adjusts current zoning rules to include affordable homes for all people.
Inclusionary zoning arms to support a balanced community for all incomes and homes for employees of businesses located in a community.
A type of zoning overlay that allows a developer to group buildings and structures together.
Cluster zoning aims to save land for parks and social gatherings, reduce pollution, lower development costs.
mixed use zoning
Allows land development for multiple uses such as combining homes and offices in the same building.
It aims to reduce car dependency, traffic, and pollution while promoting close communities and a wide range of work and housing options.
Regulates the form, size, and placement of buildings on land to standards that favor walkable and distinct communities.
form over use
Form-based code aims at predictable forms and less predictable uses rather than predictable uses and less predictable forms.
Ensures buildings are built for human scale and have distinct character while aligning with the social and environmental goals of mixed use zoning.
Zoning cannot fully control the form of the city. But it does provide a foundation for developers build on. The completed city is a negotiation between these two forces. Austin and its rules are not set in stone. They can be changed. And we have a voice.
austin always changing
Zoning cannot fully control the form of the city. But it does provide a foundation for developers build on. The completed city is a negotiation between these two forces.
Austin and its rules are not set in stone. They can be changed. And we have a voice.