The Lost Creek Civic Organization's board and advisers oppose the implementation of the Second version of CodeNEXT and the zoning map for the following reasons:
The predominant zoning of R1B (residential) and mapping does not accurately represent the character of the Lost Creek neighborhood, and together are in opposition to many deed restrictions in existence for almost 40 years. Examples include ADUs, short term rentals, business in home, and the ability to subdivide.
Implementation of CodeNEXT V2 and zone mapping would establish a litigious environment within Lost Creek unless the City of Austin recognizes and respects the deed restrictions running with the land and agrees to defend them. Otherwise, a landowner wishing to use the entitlements in CodeNEXT V2 could get approval from the City, thrusting on the neighbors a lawsuit to defend the deed restrictions that were in place when the landowners acquired their properties.
If CodeNEXT V 2 were to be implemented as mapped, the result would be a degradation of
inthe neighborhood environment. This would be in conflict with the “equal or superior” clause of the Texas Local Government Code, Title 2. Organization Of Municipal Government, Subtitle C. Municipal Boundaries And Annexation, Chapter 43. Municipal Annexation, Sec. 43.056.
Seven properties owned by the Lost Creek Limited District (LCLD) are incorrectly zoned: Property IDs 109598, 111543, 111593, 113595, 847203, 108419, 113620. They are zoned RR (Rural Residential) and should be zoned in a manner that protects them as open or preserved land. The Limited District is a legal construct permitted by law, and zoning equivalent to Open Space or Park should be maintained for these existing parks and greenbelts. The citizens of Lost Creek, who own these lands through the LCLD, do not want these lands to be developed ever.
The Lost Creek commercial zone is zoned in CodeNEXT V2 map as MU2A and MU2B (mixed use zones that allow residential, low intensity office, service and retail uses). Access to these areas is either from Loop 360 or Lost Creek Blvd. Densification of the Lost Creek commercial zone would result in more traffic on both roads, neither of which can handle more volume.
The Marshall Tract (Property ID 109592) is zoned R1B. Three recent attempts to develop the land for office buildings have not succeeded. As the office zoning no longer exists, the land would have to be given a mixed use zoning. This would aggravate an already impossible traffic congestion situation that presents serious health and safety threats to the neighborhood. Lost Creek stands absolutely in opposition to a mixed use development of the Marshall Tract with access via Lost Creek. The developers’ attempts to secure access to Loop 360 via Las Cimas have apparently so far failed.
The changes to the compatibility standard are unacceptable. With the Marshall Tract still available to be developed, compatibility with the existing homes is an issue. The Marshall Tract, under the new compatibility standard proposed in CodeNEXT V2, would allow the placement of a 120-foot high building a mere 100 feet from a residence.
The condos at the entrance to Lost Creek (Property ID 841066 ) are zoned F251. The change in zoning that allowed the construction of these condos was very controversial. The uncertainty of this zoning is inexplicable and unsatisfactory.
Despite the recent disasters both locally and nationally, nothing in CodeNEXT V2 addresses wildfires. Austin is a city with the second highest risk in the country for wildfire loss. Standards should exist for new construction in the WUI (wildland urban interface)
,and new subdivision development. Standards should exist for the maintenance of land owned by the City in the WUI. Standards should exist for the maintenance of homes within the WUI. Lost Creek is a Firewise community working to become a wildfire adapted community, which the City should not only support, but emulate.
There is no mention of Dark Skies. Lost Creek is a Dark Skies community, a desirable neighborhood attribute that should be preserved and expanded within Austin.
At 1,388 pages CodeNEXT V2 is overly large and complicated – even worse than CodeNEXT V1. It is impossible for a single citizen to comprehend, and without a guide indicating the mapping of the old code to the new code, it is impossible to know what may have changed that affects Lost Creek.
Overall, CodeNEXT V2 will not create the necessary number of affordable residences. Moreover, the addition of ADUs to Lost Creek will not create any new affordable residences. The economics will not favor that solution.
The impacts on education, infrastructure, traffic, and wildfires, among many other important factors, have not been determined but can reasonably be expected to be significant.
Given the length and content of CodeNEXT V2, there is insufficient time to engage a neighborhood of 1,250 homes in this complicated issue.
1The F25 zone is for parcels that will carry forward the regulations in Title 25. Title 25 will remain in effect for several properties within unique, specially-negotiated districts, such as Planned Unit Developments and Neighborhood Conservation Combining Districts, as well as a defined subset of Conditional Overlays. Draft 3 will include a new zone specifically for these properties, as well as accompanying text that more fully explains how existing Title 25 will apply within this zone. A fuller description will be included in Draft 3.
CodeNEXT V2 Map for Lost Creek
If you would like more information on CodeNEXT, go to the web site:
You can comment on the code as well as the map. The public comment section will be closed by the end of October.
If you would like more information about critiques of CodeNEXT V2, go to the Community, Not Commodity Web Site:
If you wish to sign a petition about CodeNEXT go to their petitions web page:
- Require Voter Approval of CodeNEXT: Don’t let our city council pass CodeNEXT on its own! Download, sign, and mail us a copy of this legally binding petition demanding its approval by Austin voters. Neighborhood associations and other groups are encouraged to reprint and circulate.
- Petition to Stop Displacement of Austinites: Sign our petition to Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Council members to adopt real solutions now to prevent displacement of Austin residents BEFORE adopting CodeNEXT and granting developers new entitlements. Let’s demand CodeNEXT not accelerate displacement of Austinites.
- Stop the Unlawful, Anti-Zoning CodeNEXT Mapping Process: Sign our petition to Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Council members demanding they stop CodeNEXT’s profit-driven mapping process, which favors demolition over neighborhood stability and violates the City’s comprehensive plan.
The position of the Executive Committee of the Austin Neighborhoods Council is given below:
October 13, 2017
Dear Zoning and Platting Commissioners,
The Austin Neighborhoods Council Executive Committee would like to voice our concerns about the CodeNEXT draft 2. First of all, draft 2 is not simpler (by adding 200+ more pages to draft 1?) as promised from the beginning by the consultants and city staff. Moreover, it is a breach of what was voted upon by the previous City Council; this code is supposed to be a hybrid code, not a complete form based code overhaul. The direction from the previous City Council was very clear and precise. The $13,000,000 Neighborhood Plans based on Compatibility Standards were to be honored as stated in the IACP on page 207, not ignored.
We object to the lack of transparency that the CodeNEXT process has perpetuated with zero accountability and with public input being disregarded. The lack of responsiveness from the staff and consultants to answer important questions from the public and the boards and commissions- for example, what criteria was used for mapping other than market desirability and how the criteria would affect displacement and affordability- shows a human-disrespect for a comprehensive and iterative process. The process has been severely flawed. Because of these glaring omissions, we demand more time for input on this draft. Moreover, we view the decreased parking requirements as detriments to maintaining the character and safety of our neighborhoods, and we view the increased impervious cover limits with decreased flood mitigation as careless planning particularly with the recent memory of Hurricane Harvey and its carnage in Houston. Austin deserves better.
We suggest that the mapping be separated from the review of this code draft. There are too many inconsistencies, errors, and overreaches in the CodeNEXT draft 2 text for us to support this process and product.
Thank you for your time, attention, and your service to our community.
Respectfully, Mary Ingle, ANC President
Lottie Dailey, ANC VP1
Linda Bailey, ANC VP2
Kevin Wier, ANC VP3
Justin Irving, ANC Co-Secretary
Joyce Basciano, ANC Co-Secretary
Sheryl Cheatham, ANC Treasurer
Mike Lavigne, ANCCo-Communications Officer
Jesse Moore, ANC Co-Communications officer B
rad Parsons, ANC Sector 1
Chip Harris, ANC Sector 2
Sammy Easterday, ANC Sector 3
Paul Schumann, ANC Sector 4
David Connor, ANC Sector 5
Daniel Llanes, ANC Sector
Patty Sprinkle, ANC Sector 7
Wayne Shipley, ANC Sector 8
Pat King, ANC Sector 10