After several months of gathering the necessary signatures to get Code NEXT on the ballot in the upcoming November elections, the campaign was shot down by the Austin City Council in a 6-4 vote.
The decision to block Code NEXT from being on the November ballot will likely lead to the City of Austin being challenged in court. Local attorney Fred Lewis, who has been one of the leaders of the Code NEXT movement, said that this was indeed the movement’s next step.
“The council, a majority never wanted the public to vote on CodeNext,” Lewis said. “So we will go to court and we will ask the court to respect the wishes of the voters and allow them to vote.”
Code NEXT is a unique solution to a not so unique problem.
As the city of Austin continues to grow at a rate faster than almost every city in America, the land use codes that were written several decades ago do not suit the housing and development needs of a population that is now far into the millions. With the current land development code in place, there is an excessive amount of red tape in place that prevents Austin landowners from doing much of anything, including renovating a bathroom.
Despite the problems facing the city of Austin, the city council has taken a stand on the side of continuing the trend of excessive red tape and stifling innovation, a trend that is consistent with their past decisions and behaviors.