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bettercodeatx.com

Better Code ATX means well-managed development. Mobility, affordability and opportunity can all be dramatically improved with a simplified land development code.

As the CodeNEXT process heats up at Austin City Council, we hear the same question being asked over and over: What exactly is CodeNEXT and how will it affect me? Fortunately, the Austin Board of REALTORS® has put together an incredible, user-friendly webpage that includes facts and figures, explainer videos, FAQs and more, detailing why Austin needs a new land development code to allow our city to grow sustainably and affordably. We hope you find this as informative as we did!

We are pleased to share that Riverside Homes was awarded "Best Urban Infill Project of the Year" for our Bluebonnet project. Creating density through infill development is increasingly seen as a viable method to create a range of housing opportunities in the city’s center. 2013 Bluebonnet‘s narrow, deep-set lot posed design challenges, but the centrally-located deep lot made it ideal for the construction of a single-family home and a small accessory dwelling unit (ADU). By building two units on a single-lot, we were able to provide more attainable urban housing. This project was a success thanks to our incredible team and partners. We'd like to extend our sincere gratitude to Reach Architects, Slic Design, our director of construction Casey Fowler, project manager Matt Arnold, the many fantastic trades we work with, and the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin. Thank you!

Central Austin homes unaffordable for area’s middle class | Community Impact Newspaper

communityimpact.com

Mar 27, 2018: In 2016, 10 years after she graduated from The University of Texas at Austin, then-Austin resident Jenny Sanzo and her husband, Evan, wanted to stop renting and buy their first home. At an entry-level price point of $200,000, Sanzo, who works downtown as an accountant for the Office of...

"Proposals to subdivide large, expensive lots in order to build smaller, less expensive homes—commonly referred to as “missing middle housing”—require a long permitting process and often receive heavy pushback from the neighbors, he said. “I want to deliver houses to young families, but our [land development]code is trending toward the million-dollar home,” Whitworth said. “Our code makes the wrong product easier and does not even allow [a middle-income]product.'" We've been building homes in central Austin since 2001, and we can concur our experience has been very much the same. We're beginning Austin city council to please allow us to build smaller, more affordable units! 🙏

Bearer of Bad News

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Evolve Austin board member Eric Goff makes a case for using CodeNEXT to ensure Austin has enough dens to make traffic and the cost of living in our city bear...

Not allowing the construction of more housing in central Austin is bad news bears. If we want the cost of living and traffic to be BEARABLE, we gotta build more dens. 🐻

We are very proud to announce that today, Riverside Homes was awarded Green Builder of the Year 2018 by Austin Business Journal! At Riverside Homes, we believe green building is more than building energy-efficient homes. It is equally important to support policies that have a much broader impact on Austin's environment. Along with continuing to build environmentally-friendly homes in Austin's urban core, Riverside Homes has dedicated much of the past year to promoting sustainable policies for CodeNEXT, Austin’s rewrite of the land development code. We are incredibly grateful to have our commitment to keeping Austin green recognized, thank you ABJ!

Angela

City of Austin: median price up 10% compared to last year, number of homes sold: up 2% & inventory down to 1.3 months (6 months supply is considered a balanced market). Austin Board of REALTORS® first market analysis of the year signals a strong housing market for 2018. Of course, inventory will be a determining factor in the direction of this year’s market! Listen up: “In 2018, Central Texas’ housing market will continue to see an increase in both sales and price, despite inventory levels remaining low,” Jim Gaines, chief economist, Real Estate Center Texas A&M University, said. “The housing demand and lack of inventory is so great, that if supply does not increase, we could see a upwards of 5 percent growth in median home prices within the Austin-Round Rock MSA.” With the release of CodeNEXT’s latest draft we are reminded that we need to remain focused on responsible planning. To quote Evolve Austin regarding first impressions of #CodeNEXT draft 3: “Some improvements but much work remains to buck the status quo of skyrocketing home prices, worsening traffic and environmental degradation from sprawl.”

City of Austin median home prices are up 10% compared to last year, number of homes sold up 2% and inventory down to 1.3 months (6 months supply is considered a balanced market). “In 2018, Central Texas’ housing market will continue to see an increase in both sales and price, despite inventory levels remaining low,” Jim Gaines, chief economist, Real Estate Center Texas A&M University, said. “The housing demand and lack of inventory are so great, that if supply does not increase, we could see an upwards of 5 percent growth in median home prices within the Austin-Round Rock MSA.” With the release of CodeNEXT’s latest draft, we are reminded that we need to remain focused on responsible planning if we are to keep Austin an affordable place to live. To quote Evolve Austin regarding first impressions of #CodeNEXT draft 3: “Some improvements but much work remains to buck the status quo of skyrocketing home prices, worsening traffic and environmental degradation from sprawl."

Evolve Austin

While every city is unique in its own special way, there is at least one universal truth: A city’s character is not just the physicality of a neighborhood. It’s about who lives there. A city underwater, on fire, with no young people, no families, no people of color, and restricted to only the richest rich and the poorest poor—that’s not a city at all.

California's housing problems are worse than ours, and they are working on solutions as well.

We're setting the standard for green building in 78704! Thank you Austin Energy Green Building for all the work you do to make our city more energy efficient and sustainable. We're proud to be a part of the most successful sustainable building program in the nation.

Make room in the trophy cabinet: Congratulations to Riverside Homes founder, Scott Turner, for being named Home Builders Association of Greater Austin Builder of the Year 2017!

Evolve Austin

“In communities that have higher levels of exclusionary zoning we see much greater economic segregation of people, and that matters because where you live has a great deal to do with what kind of life you can enjoy." In many ways, Euclid v. Ambler created the city we’ve inherited today. Two years after the case was decided, the City of Austin passed its first comprehensive zoning plan. This 1928 plan denied services to black residents who did not live east of what is now I-35, forcing the city to segregate by race. We demand a #CodeNEXT that will give Austin the tools it needs to remove the archaic barriers to opportunity that still haunt our city - without delay. NOW is our moment to evolve Austin to be a more equitable, compact and connected city.

Greg

"For decades, city councils have used exclusionary zoning to prioritize single-family “character” over everything else (including climate change and affordability), and now we’re in a situation where many of our vibrant cities face chronic housing shortages."

As housing costs and economic segregation increase, Austin’s granny flats proliferate

archpaper.com

Granny flats occupy the lighter end of the “missing middle” housing density spectrum that's absent in Austin, but it's just one tool for affordability.

Granny flats or accessory dwellings units (ADUs) are an important part of housing solutions in development to help keep Austin affordable. The ADU is an important option for low-impact densification, as it increases lot inhabitation and generates rental income but, due to its street invisibility, leaves the character of a neighborhood intact. It can also help keep people in their homes by creating a revenue stream, like East Austin, where neighborhoods have lost 34% of their homeowners since 2002.

Austin loosens rules for designating buildings historic - Austin Monitor

austinmonitor.com

It may be easier for properties in Austin to be zoned historic now.Until a few weeks ago, if a property owner filed written opposition to the designation, the city’s Historic Landmark Commission needed a two-thirds vote to override those wishes…

The city of Austin moved to make it a little easier to designate buildings historic, but Riverside Homes' Scott Turner tells us why that can be an issue for homeowners trying to sell what is often their largest family asset.

Talk Density to Me: Happy Hour & Advocacy Night

Talk Density to Me: Happy Hour & Advocacy Night

If you’ve heard anything about CodeNEXT - the overhaul of Austin's land development code - you might have noticed that the major debates over what makes a good code center around density. What denser development looks like in practice is more lots built up with larger number of smaller homes (think duplexes, fourplexes, apartments), rather than just a single dwelling per lot. So, what’s the big deal about density when it comes to designing our cities? How is it the key to getting us a more affordable, inclusive, livable, environmentally friendly community? And, how can we make sure that CodeNEXT uses density to achieve these goals? Attend our happy hour to learn about why AURA advocates for density and how you can get involved in our movement. After imbibing at Ginger Man, we will head over to City Hall at 6:30pm for the Planning Commission / Zoning & Platting Commission joint meeting, where CodeNENXT will be the topic of discussion. If you don’t know what these commissions are or how they work, don’t worry! We’ll teach you about what’s going on and how to use theses meetings to advocate for your community.

Don't forget! The "Talk Density to Me" Happy Hour is tonight. Come on out to Ginger Man for some drinks and to learn about why AURA and Evolve Austin advocate for density and how you can get involved in the movement to make Austin more affordable, sustainable, and compact & connected.

Talk Density to Me: Happy Hour & Advocacy Night

Talk Density to Me: Happy Hour & Advocacy Night

If you’ve heard anything about CodeNEXT - the overhaul of Austin's land development code - you might have noticed that the major debates over what makes a good code center around density. What denser development looks like in practice is more lots built up with larger number of smaller homes (think duplexes, fourplexes, apartments), rather than just a single dwelling per lot. So, what’s the big deal about density when it comes to designing our cities? How is it the key to getting us a more affordable, inclusive, livable, environmentally friendly community? And, how can we make sure that CodeNEXT uses density to achieve these goals? Attend our happy hour to learn about why AURA advocates for density and how you can get involved in our movement. After imbibing at Ginger Man, we will head over to City Hall at 6:30pm for the Planning Commission / Zoning & Platting Commission joint meeting, where CodeNENXT will be the topic of discussion. If you don’t know what these commissions are or how they work, don’t worry! We’ll teach you about what’s going on and how to use theses meetings to advocate for your community.

If you’ve heard anything about CodeNEXT - the overhaul of Austin's land development code - you might have noticed that the major debates over what makes a good code center around density. So, what’s the big deal about density when it comes to designing our cities? How is it the key to getting us a more affordable, inclusive, livable, environmentally friendly community? And, how can we make sure that CodeNEXT uses density to achieve these goals? Attend AURA's happy hour next Tuesday to learn about why AURA and Evolve Austin advocate for density and how you can get involved in the movement.

National Association of Home Builders

Green construction is rapidly gaining traction among both single-family and multifamily home builders, according to new research published in the Green Multifamily and Single Family Homes 2017 SmartMarket Brief. Details on #NAHBNow

Glad to say it's already got traction here in Austin!

As one of Austin's top urban infill builders, we're pumped for the Affordable Infill Tour is this Saturday September 23rd. Join us, along with Austin Community Design and Development Center, at this day-packed event where we’ll learn about the importance of affordable housing in our community and see some cool affordable living initiatives throughout Austin. Be sure to purchase your tickets before tomorrow, September 22nd, to secure early-bird pricing!

Greg

I just gave $500 (or roughly 1% of my annual income) to Evolve Austin. But why!? Evolve Austin stands for what I believe in. A compact and connected city that promotes a healthy Austin and a creative economy. It is a large and growing coalition fighting for a CodeNEXT that brings about paths to prosperity for affordability and for our workforce as well as assisting us in shifting away from auto-dependency. There is no Planet B, we must be better stewards to our environment and a continuation of failed low density/transit destroying policies is not the answer. Frankly, I can't afford not to give. The fear-mongering and misinformation being put out by the side that yearns for a bygone era will be far more expensive and destructive to our population. Should the sentiment for "no-change/make housing difficult" prevail through exclusionary zoning/segregation policies we can expect to see a much less interesting/diverse future for our great city. Not to mention a much more expensive one...

Please take a minute to read what the president of Habitat for Humanity has to say about the Evolve Austin coaliton. #neighborhoods4everyone

Riverside Homes' own Scott Turner shedding light on how land development code influences developers and the effects on housing affordability along with Travis Young of Studio Momentum Architects, and Casey Giles of PSW Real Estate. Thanks to AURA & Friends of Austin Neighborhoods - FAN for putting on a great, informative event!

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