As one of the fastest growing cities in America, it’s clear that Austin has a growing problem because of its outdated regulations. Just in the last thirty years, Austin has almost doubled in population, and the rapid expansion of the city’s land area has reflected this. In these thirty years of growth, Austin’s land development code has not been replaced, but rather updated several times.

Not replacing local land development codes is a common issue across the country. In fact, it is one the Obama White House drew attention to during his administration.

Because of the lack of a consistent land development code, Austin has notably inhibited its growth. This is because the current code imposes suffocating regulations to both construction companies and the common citizen of Austin alike. Just to renovate a bathroom in the city of Austin requires obtaining a permit.

CodeNEXT is seen as the solution, and one that is receiving support on all side of the political spectrum.

Ellen Troxclair, District 8 Austin City Council Member, stated in a Facebook post about CodeNEXT thatwe cannot let this opportunity go to waste, and I will not vote for a final product (next April) that does not achieve these objectives. CodeNEXT is a historic opportunity restore property rights, cut excessive red tape that our city has become notorious for, and to help relieve some of the market pressures that are causing housing costs to rise. We have a long way to go still, but I remain optimistic.”

Austin has been one of the fastest growing cities in America, and the land development code has not kept up with that growth. Because of this, housing costs and living expenses in Austin have skyrocketed, limiting the Austin real estate market to the wealthiest. It is time that Austinites come together to support positive CodeNEXT reforms, and tangible change that will make sure Austin’s growth is no longer stymied.

Austin Goss

Austin Goss is the Capitol Correspondent for Empower Texans and Texas Scorecard. Hailing from Louisville, Kentucky, Austin is a Christian, soldier in the United States Army Reserves, and a student at the University of Texas at Austin. Follow Austin on Twitter @AG_Legacy


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