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As you know, the City unsuccessfully tried to change the code, what do you believe needs to be done differently to achieve a better code? Will you support working to revise the land development code to provide and allow for predictability and deep affordability? (Y/N; Explain)

Rich DePalma

City Council, District 8

Yes. We need an updated land development code that allows the city to enact the vision of Imagine Austin, provide diverse housing options, improve our environment, activate transit corridors and address affordability. The city has the work already completed and this should be considered as we move forward. The opportunities of the new land development code are important to all of us because of the real housing, transit, water quality, open space and other infrastructure challenges we are facing as a city. We continue to push out our most vulnerable populations, struggle to make public transportation robust, and are not providing enough housing options to meet internal and external population growth. We must acknowledge that Austin, like the rest of the United States, is growing and our city’s administration has a duty to make sure Austin can sustain itself. Too often we hear questions like: Didn’t they think of that? Why doesn’t Austin do a better job at planning? Why isn’t our public transit system better? Or Why do they call Austin the Live Music Capitol when all the musicians have moved away? Our city needs to be focused on solutions for our problems and not exclusionary policies. One way we can move forward is by working through the code in sections. It is the process I always thought would be best and hoped that the city would implement under a Draft 4 (Draft 1 should have never counted). The maps should not be addressed until after the entire code is finalized or at least until the zoning section is finalized. After, the community as a whole should determine on very specific goals relating to housing, transit, healthcare, schools, senior development, commercial districts, and environmental solutions/opportunities. I don’t believe that any one stakeholder group should dictate what should be done. When looking at the maps, we should look at how we implement the goals at a regional level. At the regional level, specific existing neighborhood plans can be reviewed and the FLUMS can be updated based on the new land development code options and community needs.