City Postpones Hearings and Third Reading Vote on Land Development Code

by Daryl Slusher

In the time of the corona virus everyone has to determine how to best to carry on their responsibilities in the new and ever changing situation. For local, somewhat specialized media, such as the Austin Independent, our job is not getting out information to the masses on the corona virus. That is especially true for a new publication with still limited readership. Our responsibility then should probably be to carry on as normally as possible. With that in mind I’m going to continue to discuss our current topic of focus, Austin’s Land Development Code rewrite.

So today I wrote a story strongly recommending that the City of Austin postpone the upcoming public hearings and Council third reading vote on the LDC. In particular I argued, in the unpublished piece, for postponement based on the uneven impact on the elderly of both the LDC and the corona virus — and how the elderly would be at risk to attend a public hearing, even if social distancing measures were taken. 

By the time I was ready to post the story, however, City officials had wisely made that choice on their own. It’s comforting that the City chose to postpone and the Austin Independent wishes them all the best in their important work during this extraordinary time. Let’s also hope that the time can be utilized to come to broader community agreement on a Code.

There will be more to report about the postponement and any potential rescheduling in the days to come. For now the City website lists the public hearings for March 24 and March 28 as postponed as well as the three dates scheduled for Council deliberation and third reading. Those were March 31, April 1, and April 2. A message on the postings for the hearings and the third reading meetings reads: “In response to the increasing concerns and fluidity of COVID-19 situation, the City of Austin has decided to postpone meetings and action related to the Land Development Code Revision.”

We also had ready to post tonight the latest episode in our series, Austin LDC. That story will post soon.

The Austin Independent, a publication of The Austin Independent, LLC

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