Creating a new land development code happens only once every 20 to 30 years in Austin. This is our one opportunity in some of our lifetimes to make the changes that we need to be successful as a growing city. We will hopefully not look back 30 years from now and see that the new land development code failed to properly plan for our city’s future. While we appreciate the hard work and dedication of the city council, recent recommendations to establish a new land development code fail to go far enough to tackle Austin’s affordability crisis, especially if Hyde Park and other neighborhoods are exempt from the new land development code and Austin maintains the status quo of the old zoning overlays for Hyde Park called NCCDs (Neighborhood Conservation Combining Districts). Keeping NCCDs during this land development code rewrite will lock Hyde Park into our old land development code until the next city wide rezoning or next land development code rewrite 20 to 30 years from now, which is an unacceptable outcome.
We ask that our neighborhood be treated fairly and zoned in a similar way to what is proposed for every other neighborhood in central Austin. No neighborhood in Austin should be exempt from moving into our new land development code. The recommendation to add new overlay layers over other overlay layers on top of our outdated 1984 land development code does not simplify our land development code or fix the fatal flaws of the NCCDs. Maintaining two completely separate land development codes (the 1984 land development code for some central Austin neighborhoods that make up approximately 1,000 acres of Austin and a new one for the rest of the city) does not make sense for the city going forward, complicates, rather than simplifies, the land development code, makes it difficult for city staff to understand what can be built and where in our neighborhood, makes it difficult for homeowners to remodel their homes, harms affordability for our neighborhood and the entire city, and decreases the walkability of our neighborhood. This is why Austin’s Development Services Department staff recommends eliminating NCCDs.
In one of the largest stakeholder processes in Hyde Park’s history, Hyde Park residents voted overwhelmingly to support a new land development code to replace the existing land development code in Hyde Park as part of a new land development code process. The neighborhood association Friends of Hyde Park held the vote, allowing anyone that lives in the neighborhood to participate. 91 Hyde Park residents out of our 403 members voted. 78% of the members that voted supported the resolution. Because of the overwhelming support for a new land development code to apply to Hyde Park, we must strongly oppose and recommend voting against any land development code rewrite that maintains NCCDs.
Friends of Hyde Park and the residents of Hyde Park look forward to working with the City of Austin to make sure that when we look back 30 years from now, this was the time when Austin made the decision to tackle the hard problems and ensure that Austin remains an affordable and diverse city for every person that lives here. We hope that the overwhelming support for a new land development code to apply to Hyde Park is strongly considered.
For more information on why Friends of Hyde Park opposes NCCDs, please see the following link. What Are Neighborhood Conservation Combining Districts (NCCDs)?
Information About Friends of Hyde Park
Friends of Hyde Park is currently the largest neighborhood association in our neighborhood with 433 current members (approximately 50% renters and 50% homestead homeowners). Friends of Hyde Park advocates for more affordable housing and a more walkable, bikeable, inclusive, environmentally sustainable, and transit friendly neighborhood. Sign up for free to become a member at the link below to help us improve our neighborhood and community: http://friendsofhydepark.atxfriends.org/join/
Board of Directors of Friends of Hyde Park