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With Council’s decision to end CodeNEXT, how do you envision moving forward to update Austin’s land development code?

Danielle Skidmore

City Council, District 9

As an engineer who sees the growth challenges our city is facing—and as a former full-time West Austin resident who faced accessibility challenges to stay in our own home, when Peter and his wheelchair outgrew the stairs— I know the current issues we’re facing in affordability and mobility are real, and are the result of the current land development code and its shortcomings; they’re the result of us leaving problems unsolved. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean we should give up, and as we make room for more Austinites, both immigrants and those born within our city, we owe it to ourselves to struggle through resolving what we’ve set out to do.

For us to improve affordability in our city, and reduce congestion, we need to make more room for people throughout Austin—remembering that we’re not just talking about transplants from California or wherever, but new children being born in Austin all the time. We just have to make sure that making that space comes with a real and tangible commitment to community benefits; affordable housing, and minimizing displacement of current residents in our communities. For this to occur, the process must be inclusive and all voices must be heard… We must proactively reach out to all communities.