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Report expected next week on CodeNEXT impact on arts, music

Friday, July 20, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

A working group examining CodeNEXT and its impact on the lives of Austin’s artists and musicians is preparing to issue a public statement highlighting the pieces of the proposed development code that could change Austin for those communities, and also addressing issues that have been left out of the document’s multiple revisions. The working group was formed as a joint effort of the city’s Arts and Music commissions, and has spent recent months working with the leaders of dozens of arts and music organizations to inform them and get their input on CodeNEXT ahead of its adoption by City Council and possible referendum vote in November. Brad Carlin, a member of the group, told Arts Commission members on Monday that the statement is not meant to be an endorsement or refutation of the code, but a way to alert arts communities about how live/work spaces and other building codes affecting creatives could be impacted. Among the included items the group plans to highlight are the code’s improved definition of a live performance space and music venues, adding live music as a defined community benefit for development projects and an expanded definition of cultural use. Carlin said the group will also call attention to the code’s lack of a section of policies specifically dedicated to arts and music amid its failure to separate live music venues from bar/nightclub use as one of the areas where city leaders need to continue to work. The statement is expected to be released next week.

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