Still Inching Forward?

In the February issue, my “Inching Forward” article was an update on the Upper Airport Boulevard Form-Based Code (FBC) Initiative. The title of this new update reflects the pace of developments over these last six months.

An Advisory Group to the initiative was established by City Council in 2010 to represent specific organizations (developers, large and small local businesses, and property owners) with an interest in the Airport Boulevard Corridor between Lamar and IH-35. The group was formed to assist in public outreach and to provide feedback for future development that would foster mixed-use, walkable, bicycle, and transit-oriented development. In December 2011, I was appointed the HPNA representative.

Advisory Group meetings, community open houses, and neighborhood association roundtables were held by the City of Austin Planning and Development Review Department (PDRD) though June 2012. Since that time, the Advisory Group has received periodic updates from Jorge Rousselin, the PDRD Development Services Process Coordinator, regarding the progress of the first draft of the FBC. This working draft was reviewed by city staff, revised with staff input, and then was to be integrated with CodeNEXT initiatives to revise the City Land Development Code (LDC). In an April 2014 email from Jorge Rousselin, the Advisory Group was informed that the CodeNEXT Consultant (Opticos Design) was being brought on board to assist in the completion of the Airport Boulevard FBC.

Opticos Design also recently completed a review and assessment of the city’s LDC. This lengthy Code Diagnosis document, released in May, can be found at http://www.austintexas.gov/department/documents-1.This 92-page document is worth scanning by anyone wishing to be informed about potential changes to the current code. The Upper Airport Boulevard FBC will eventually be integrated with a revised City of Austin LDC.

–Doris Coward

HPNA representative to Upper Airport Boulevard Advisory Group