CodeNext, the city building code rewrite that was recently released, was put to the test recently by a group of architects, city planners, developers and more. Their findings were disappointing, the Austin Business Journal reports.
The attendees were broken into smaller groups and tasked with determining how a section of the code could be used to create new projects. The group that looked at zoning in the downtown core found that the new code substantially limited high rises downtown and many recent projects couldn’t even be constructed under the new guidelines.
A group looking at mixed-use zoning in neighborhoods discovered that many uses wouldn’t be possible because of required parking minimums. Many lots were too small to accommodate uses like restaurants and provide enough spaces for diners’ cars.
While that problem could be solved by combining adjoining lots, attendees said that solution shouldn’t be relied upon, since it may not be a possibility in every situation.
Even the group working on the Highland Mall redevelopment, which is being touted as a transit-oriented and mixed use development, found that many uses wouldn’t work without significant redesigns.
Mayor Steve Adler stressed that the code was a work in progress and said that finding problems and flaws were great opportunities to correct and tweak the code.