Austin’s land development code case back in court
Austin, Travis County, AISD look to build disaster hubs
DATE TO KNOW
The disaster hubs would provide safe places for Austinites in an emergency.
NOV. 14 Oral arguments over
Austin’s land code will kick off before a panel of justices of the Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston.
400 the estimated number of hubs that would be needed 15 minutes the maximum amount of time it should take each Austinite to get to a hub once the plan is completed $1 million the maximum cost of retrofitting a location to be a disaster hub, though most will not receive complete upgrades
BY BEN THOMPSON
BY BEN THOMPSON
Austin’s appeal to a court ruling over the city’s contentious and long-delayed land development code rewrite is set to move forward later this fall. Since 2012, Austin’s attempt to rethink city rules for land use has taken many forms. The code sets parameters for development, such as the height of a building or the density of a project. A development code rewrite process, CodeNEXT, fizzled out in 2018 but was followed by a new version the next year. That eventually made it weeks away from a final City Council vote— before ending up the subject of the lawsuit that has held up movement since the early days of the pandemic.
After the fallout fromWinter Storm Uri in February left many without power or running water, Austin-area entities began looking to create a network of safe shelters for residents during disaster situations. At a joint meeting Sept. 24, Austin, Travis County and Austin ISD officials heard updates and voiced support for a process that could see dozens of local facilities improved and added to a network of resilience hubs—locations that could provide water, food, electricity or a place to gather in an emergency. The targeted spots include neighborhood schools, recreation centers, clinics, libraries and other government buildings. “These extreme weather events have really highlighted the need for accessible community spaces that can offer services to community members at the neighborhood and interpersonal
At issue in the lawsuit was whether city residents have a right to protest the widespread zoning changes proposed in the new code. The city holds that residents do not have this right, while a group of property owners who filed suit called Austin’s process illegal. A Travis County judge ruled against the city in March 2020, leading City Council to vote to appeal the decision weeks later. Oral arguments in the city’s appeal are set for Nov. 14 in front of the Fourteenth Court of Appeals. The debate will take place virtually.
SOURCE: CITY OF AUSTIN/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
level,” Austin Climate Program Manager Zach Baumer said. Growing the hub network will take additional time, funding and community input, Baumer said. Each hub could cost up to $1 million to renovate. The goal is to have a hub within a 15-minute walk of every resident. This would require about 400 hubs, according to Baumer.
SPECIALIZING IN: • Cataract Surgery • Premium IOL Implants • LASIK Surgery • Glaucoma - Medical and Surgical • Macular Degeneration
We accept Medicare/Medicaid
Schedule Your Visit Today: (512) 443-9715 | WWW.HOWERTONEYE.COM
Kyle Office 5401 FM 1626, Ste 365 Kyle, TX 78640
Southwest Austin Office 5625 Eiger Rd., Ste 100 Austin, TX 78735
South Central Austin Office 2610 S. IH 35 Austin, TX 78704
CALL (512) 764-1757 TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT
111 WWilliam Cannon Dr Suite 200 Austin, Texas CelebrateDental.com
Family Dentistry for Children and Adults Braces $120/mo. No down payment. Board Certified Orthodontist. Convenient Hours. Comfortable, Quality Care.
Dr. David Ensley DMD, MS
Dr. Nazgol Gharbi DDS, DPH, MPH
SOUTHWEST AUSTIN - DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • OCTOBER 2021
Powered by FlippingBook