Neighborhood Cohesion

Our Advocacy Committee is intertwined in two hot items in this week's Codes & Ordinances subcommittee of Planning and Zoning commission agenda.

One of these items, a proposed change in the definition of "bedroom" in the Land Development Code, was brought to the AIA by a member of the contact team for the Central Austin Combined Neighborhoods organization.  One question is whether unclear definitions contribute to "super duplexes" that generate excessive traffic, trash, or other nuisances.

AIA Austin seeks to partner with neighborhood groups, homebuilders, and others to gather better maps/resources on this issue that might improve the quality of both design and regulatory decisions.

We identified four scales of possible involvement:
(1) Comprehensive Plan- LDC re-write related to density, affordability, and transit
(2) Zoning- Consider amending neighborhood plan, spot zoning, or zoning overlay district
(3) Building plan review- Refine bedroom definitions
(4) Enforcement- Map potential violations vs. enforcement and develop stronger enforcement policy.

We want to use flash points such as this to build a team of architects and community leaders that can carry us through the long haul of orienting codes and ordinances toward the Comprehensive Plan.