For those of you who haven’t been following our schools, AISD has problems. We have too many school buildings in the wrong places. We have massive costs repairing, heating and cooling under-enrolled schools. The facilities master plan has not taken school closures off the table. The new plan will give under-enrolled schools 3 years to fill back up. Many of our central neighborhood schools are on the under-enrolled list, and if trends continue many of the schools that are not on that list currently will be in danger.
If you look at AISD’s demographic report one thing that will jump out at you is that we need more kids. Even areas like Circle C that had seen explosive growth in families are not growing as fast. So what can we do about that?
Right now in Austin you can build single-family homes, duplexes or apartment complexes. Those are pretty much the only housing types that can be built. You know those awesome Mueller row homes and garden homes? Did you know that the only reason those can be built is because Mueller is exempt from Austin’s zoning restrictions?
You can’t build the homes in the picture above. The one that creates a dense neighborhood with tons of kids. You can’t build these homes in Austin.
The CodeNEXT process is looking into changing that. They call this the “missing middle”. Everything in between traditional sprawl-style single family homes on large lots and apartment complexes. But we need voters to vote for candidates who support this or convince their candidate to support the process. Tell them that they want this kind of housing in Austin.
Without more kids we’re going to have to close schools. It’s as simple as that. And we need more kid friendly housing in our neighborhoods to get more kids. Find out where your candidates stand on Code NEXT.