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Austin Releases 'Action Plan' in Response to Zucker Report

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News
The city released an action plan Friday in response to an outside review of its planning departments.

If you’ve ever had a house or business project held up by the city’s convoluted permitting process, there may be hope for improvements ahead.

Today the city released an action plan in response to an outside review (done by California-based Zucker Systems) of its planning departments. That review found Austin’s code and regulations lacking, well below the standard set by other cities.

From the report:

"Austin is at a crossroads of significant job, population and physical growth vexed against and inadequate planning and development services system and a cumbersome and conflicting code of regulations...Austin's code is lacking in many areas, and a recent diagnosis concluded that the code is overly complicated, not well coordinated, and fraught with ineffective base zoning districts."

In the 204-page document [read it here], released this afternoon, the city acknowledged those shortcomings and announced a series of action steps to improve the process. Those include better technology, more training for staff, better customer service and fewer permitting backlogs.

The action plan has both short-term and long-term goals, and will take two years to implement fully. 

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