AIBA Blog
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CodeNEXT has been much debated. AIBA has not taken a position on this but we do think there are a few things you should know about. City Council plans to vote on first reading on June 13th, with second and third readings in August.  Please take the time to see how this affects your business and communicate your concerns with the City Council directly by email (http://www.austintexas.gov/email/all-council-members). CodeNEXT will affect local businesses although the changes to residential have overshadowed the impact Austin’s code rewrite will have on commercial properties.  
 
Top Six Changes in CodeNEXT

1. No “safe harbor” provision for structures and uses, meaning a number of commercial properties will become nonconforming. This meand your property won't be "Grandfathered" in under existing code.  (More on this in an upcoming blog)

2. No direct translation from current zoning to proposed zoning

3. CodeNEXT is more complex and less intuitive with 58 zoning categories as compared to our current 39. (See map link below)

5. More discretion given to city staff. This means city staff will be determining seciding factors instead of the code.

6. Parking requirements
     • Decreased (for the most part), eliminated and sometimes assigned maximums
ADA parking not mandatory if parking not required
     • Placement of parking is prescriptive. (More on this in an upcoming blog)

What does this mean for our local businesses?

1. Businesses could become nonconforming and expected to be redeveloped
 
2. Increased property taxes through increased entitlements (More on this in an upcoming blog)
 
3. More time-consuming
     • Understanding the CodeNEXT zoning applied to your business and your commercial district is complicated
     • Interpreting new categories and rules that are not straightforward
 
4. Unpredictability and confusion
 
To find out what is proposed for your business, look at this map for zoning then look at this uses chart for what will be allowed.  Also see this unrevised* table for building dimensions that includes a comparison with current zoning. This is complicated but understand that grandfathering will no longer protect your business. It also enables substantial new developement as existing businesses that no longer comply with the new code may not be able to repair or grow without coming into full compliance. In many cases this will be financially impossible. 
 
*Does not include changes made after draft 3 released.