ULI Austin News

PRESS RELEASE: Report Identifies How CodeNEXT Can Meet Imagine Austin Requirements



AUSTIN, Texas – Sept. 14, 2017 –  The Urban Land Institute (ULI) of Austin has issued an 18-page report that analyzed the first draft of the CodeNEXT effort and determined there are many instances where the plan falls short of meeting the goals established by the Imagine Austin plan.

The Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan provides a framework for the management and growth of the Austin community, and includes eight priority programs to help implement the plan, of which four are affected by the CodeNEXT effort. Those four priorities are Environment, Neighborhood Character, Compact & Connected and Affordability.


The six-person panel of land use and real estate experts offered specific suggestions about how the CodeNEXT language should be modified, the rational for the modification and additional outcomes that can be achieved with the modification.

For example, under the Environment priority, the panel recommends modifying the CodeNEXT section involving impervious cover “to recognize the different types of impervious cover and associated required water quality treatment.” The reason is that “impervious cover from rooftops requires less treatment than drivable surfaces; adjustment in water requirements would encourage open space and compact design.” By making the modification, Austin could “allow increased development efficiency, increased open space preservation and lower cost of construction, affecting affordable housing.”

“The recommendations are relatively simple and easy to implement, but they go a long way toward ensuring the Imagine Austin principles are carried forward,” said David Steinwedell, Executive Director of ULI Austin. “We hope community leaders will take this analysis into account from our distinguished experts as they continue to collect community input and debate the recommendations of the CodeNEXT draft.”

The panel featured a cross section of stakeholders familiar with both Imagine Austin and CodeNEXT:

  • Greg Anderson, Director of Operations at Austin Habitat for Humanity and a City of Austin Planning Commissioner
  • Margie Burciaga, a Business Development Representative for Independence Title Company and a former City of Austin MBE/WBE Small Business Procurement Board Member
  • Ted McConaghy, a Senior Project Manager and the Sustainability Program Director at Doucet & Associates
  • Chris Riley, an independent consultant who was an Austin City Council Member from 2009 to 2015
  • Chong Shin, a licensed Architect with Carson Design
  • Megan Wanek, a Development Associate with Endeavor Real Estate Group 

About ULI Austin: The Austin District Council of the Urban Land Institute was founded in 1999. Today, the Austin District Council includes more than 700 Austin-area professionals in the planning, architecture, design, engineering, investor, landscape, lender, legal, construction, communication and government industries, involved in every sector of real estate development, from residential and retail to commercial and hospitality. ULI Austin is known for its topical monthly breakfasts, which feature local and international experts on topics important to the community’s growth and prosperity.

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