This is a new building code system that city planners are trying to implement in Austin, TX.
“CodeNEXT is a plan is to effectively do away with old fashioned things like neighborhood zoning and building use restrictions. Those are too complex and burdensome. Now that Austin has become a “destination city,” we shouldn’t live in houses on blocks in neighborhoods. Instead, we should be divided into “corridors,” “nodes” and “transit hubs.” While this may work for designing certain sectors of undeveloped land, it should not be imposed on existing neighborhoods against their will.
CodeNEXT: “A comprehensive planning process that uses codes to integrate the built environment into larger economic development strategies.”
You can go check out the CodeNEXT site here. The “Listening to the Community Report” artfully speaks in the reverse. You will see page after page of the same phrases, but not a single hint of public suggestions, public comments, or even any summaries of public likes and dislikes of any of the concepts mentioned. There is a long roster of consultants and assorted private firms listed in these reports. The City’s website lists 11 members of an advisory group that is working with these firms as part of CodeNEXT. But nowhere will you find the backgrounds of the advisory group members, who they work for, or who appointed them. This is most likely another consultant-driven process with pre-ordained results.
Nix CodeNEXT Before It Nixes Us!
5 thoughts on “CodeNEXT: Nightmare Agenda 21 Building Codes of the Future”
Austin is a mess. It’s got little in the way of public transit outside of the college districts, unless you count buses that get snared in the increasingly terrible traffic. It’s a small city being turned into car-centric sprawl. It’s also an interesting place where an actual earthbag dome home has been built within the city limits, with city code approval. I’d not demonize this CodeNEXT thing without looking into it first. A change in Austin’s urban planning is badly needed, and there’s potential for it to be done right.
building codes are designed for control , nothing to do with safety,makes housing twice the cost, destroys working class of ever building a home themselves. Makes Architects and contractors rich, should be abolished, If rich want to live away from working class,that is what covenants were for.
We have an old blog post that shows one of the first building codes in the US. It was a little 50-page booklet with very general guidelines such as “build the chimney out of noncombustible materials”. Something like this might be tolerable. But the nature of bureaucracy is to create ever more scope and complexity so they can expand their departments and budgets. The situation has obviously grown completely out of control over the decades.
I have to admit I haven’t read the CodeNEXT code or even looked into this topic deeply. However, almost for sure this will add another layer of complexity, bureaucracy, delays, confusion, higher construction costs and difficulty for owner builders in particular. The real intent is likely about grabbing more power and control by a few “specialists” who “know what’s best” for the rest of us. No thanks. The current code system is crazy enough.
The stated intent is to simplify and streamline Austin’s current, confusing, piecemeal code. The existing code is based on neighborhood plans which are so varied and byzantine that even city planners are unsure what can be done where. Will it work? I don’t know…