October 16, 2017
RECA members recently met twice to examine and test the second draft of CodeNext. We approached these meetings from a very hands-on angle, equipping attendees with maps, scale rulers, pens and tracing paper. The RECA engineers, architects and developers who attended took specific sites and worked to design multi-use buildings on them in accordance with the draft code.
This process provided our RECA industry experts with a much more comprehensive view of how CodeNext could affect development. In sketching out plans, RECA participants referenced the sections of the code pertaining to zoning, transportation, landscaping, parking, water quality and detention and more. This enabled participants to quickly identify the parts of the draft code that would potentially improve or hinder the development process.
There are many compounding layers of regulation that negatively affect the timeline and the affordability of a project. Those layers are often difficult to find, and their impact is hard to quantify. In our two RECA code testing meetings, members were able to break down some of those impacts by cost and reduced buildable area. Since the City of Austin has set clear goals for affordability, we can measure the results of these meetings against the City’s own standards and show what areas of CodeNext need to change if we are to achieve an Austin that meets those goals.
This and other RECA working groups will continue to work through and test the draft code over the coming weeks and provide feedback to the City. If you're interested in participating in this process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
RECA industry experts test the second draft of the land development code.
The meetings were hands-on - volunteers used maps, scale rulers, pens and tracing paper.