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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)

Todd Phelps


Yes. The CodeNext document was too long and complex. It was introduced as affordability and gentrification were becoming very serious issues to the people of Austin. Residents were understandably suspicious and fearful as they were being taxed out of their homes and businesses. Single family homes and commercial buildings were being demolished. The disrespectful handling of the petition that 32,000 Austin residents signed only increased the distrust. Despite the promises, density increased but prices did not decrease. We need to start over and gain the trust of our citizens. It will not be easy. There must be a land development code, but that code needs to be clear, fair and understandable. It needs to be a code that respects all neighborhoods and the development community. The character of our neighborhoods needs to be preserved, therefore, the land code needs to go down to the neighborhood level. The fact is that the complexity and resulting long permitting timelines in the development process increases building costs which are then passed on to end users and exacerbates the affordability issues. Austin taxpayers wasted $8 million of their hard-earned money on this flawed process to develop a new land development code. Having an effective land development code is one of the basic functions of municipal governments.