AUSTIN, Texas — More than 500 people signed up to speak before the Austin City Council on Saturday, either for or against the new Land Development Code.
It's supposed to help address housing problems in Austin, citing there isn't enough and it's too expensive.
"Is the Austin we are becoming truly the Austin we want to be," asked a concerned citizen.
This is the big question that hundreds of people packed into Austin City Hall to answer.
Meeting attendees were divided on preserving single-family neighborhoods or supporting the proposed land development code. The new code wants to fix what's called "the missing middle" – the gap between high-rise condos and single-family homes.
The code says this would be accomplished by allowing zoning for duplexes, triplexes and townhomes, especially along Austin's most traveled corridors.
A lot of rezoning is focused along Central and East Austin.
Carmen Llanes Pulido with Go Austin/Vamos Austin is worried about how it could affect housing costs.
"Up to a third of single-family units in the eastern crescent are rented and a lot of them are paying less per square foot than the folks in our public housing," explained Llanes Pulido.
Williams Hudson lives in one of those transition zones where higher density family housing would be built.
"Our streets are quiet and children are able to play on them safely. Denser development could exacerbate traffic flow and make them less safe," said Hudson.
Infrastructure is a concern, as well.
"People know, they see the drainage worsening and the growth around them higher up, making it more drainage and people have already lost lives," said Llanes Pulido.
However, UT student Kevin Quest said building up instead of out helps mobility and cuts down on commuter traffic.
"What this does is allow walkable lifestyles and green lifestyles to be enabled in the central core of Austin," said Quest.
City Council is expected to start voting on the new code on Monday and some say the decision is moving too fast.
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