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RECA Joins Evolve Austin Coalition

RECA has joined the Evolve Austin coalition, which includes 24 organizations representing tens of thousands of Austinites. This broad coalition will continue to review the code and provide detailed policy recommendations to City Staff, the consultants and our elected officials throughout the process.

Join the RECA CodeNext Working Group

RECA's CodeNext Working Group is looking for technical experts to contribute their time and talent as we continue through this process. Working Group members will meet regularly to dive deeper into sections of the code and help formulate RECA's official positions. If you're looking for a way to get more involved with RECA, this is a great way to do it. Email for more information or to sign up. 


A land development code lays out on-the-ground-rules for how a city develops. Austin’s current land development code is more than 800 pages and regulates new development, redevelopment, zoning, subdivisions, transportation and parking, outdoor signs, site plans, drainage, watershed protection, open space and more.

CodeNEXT is the initiative to rewrite the City of Austin's land development code to align with the city’s Imagine Austin comprehensive plan. The last comprehensive rewrite of the code took place in 1984. There have been hundreds of amendments in the interim, and since 2005 alone there have been more than 180 amendments to the code.

The city contracted with Opticos, a consulting firm that uses a new type of planning process based on understanding the character of neighborhoods and the larger community. This is an intensive process that began in 2013. The consultants and city staff created a Citizen Advisory Group (CAG) comprised of members appointed by city council, which has also conducted extensive public outreach.

The first draft of the new code was released in early 2017. This was the first major step in what will be a several month long process in which the City will examine the feedback provided by the community and prepare a second draft of the code for review. That draft will be released in August 2017, followed by a third draft that will go to council after both the Planning Commission and Zoning and Platting Commission provide their recommendations. Final adoption by City Council is not expected until 2018.

RECA's Positions

  • Imagine Austin was vetted and supported by many Austin residents from all areas of the city, and unanimously approved by City Council in June 2012. Now a vocal minority is trying to derail its vision through the CodeNEXT process. Making Imagine Austin a reality requires a new code.
  • Austin’s population has doubled every 25 years since our city was founded in 1847. We need to accept this and work to keep what makes Austin special. Instead of fighting growth, we as a community need to plan for it and direct it to create the kind of welcoming community we want. A complete overhaul is necessary to make sure Austin can direct unavoidable change, rather than simply survive it.
  • A simplified, flexible code is necessary to make our development review process work better, not only for developers building additional housing, but also for homeowners trying to remodel their bathrooms or add square footage as their families expand.