Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

City Council passes resolution, amends University Neighborhood Overlay

Alex Luevano
West Campus on Jan. 26, 2023.

Austin City Council passed a resolution to amend the University Neighborhood Overlay on Thursday to make West Campus more affordable and accessible for students. 

The newest proposal focuses on student well-being through improving affordability and livability, according to a city council press release. The proposal advocates for a window in every bedroom in the area, increased building height limits and more access to healthy grocery options. The proposal would also expand these requirements — and previous UNO requirements — into other areas of West Campus. 

The resolution, authored by Council Member Zo Qadri, comes after a March case study which revealed that UNO has been the most effective city program in providing student housing.

The city initially passed UNO in 2004, allowing developers to build bigger and taller buildings in exchange for providing affordable housing and abiding by requirements to improve the public spaces around the building, said Dan Keshet, co-founder of the grassroots organization AURA, which advocates for a more equitable Austin. 

UNO currently requires wider sidewalks with pedestrian lighting, bike locks, benches and trees, Keshet said. Because of UNO, 22nd Street has three-foot sidewalks on one side, and expansive sidewalks on the other, Keshet said.  

“I’m happy to take action to build on the 20 years of successful design and development that UNO has brought to West Campus,” Qadri said in the press release. “These newest revisions focus directly on the needs expressed by students, workers, and other community stakeholders in the area.”

The resolution is just the first step, according to the press release. The city will continue to work with students and community members to create a final item for the Council to adopt, expected in spring 2025.

Isabel Webb Carey, founder of the University Tenants Union, said the amendments represent the city’s commitment to the affordability and accessibility of West Campus.

“Our neighborhood is more than a ZIP code,” Carey said in the press release. “It is where students hope to discover their passions, navigate challenges, and learn to be adults who are also members of a community. When UNO was first introduced, it opened the doors to those possibilities.”

The program allows more students to live close to campus and get the full campus experience, and expanding UNO will allow more people to benefit, Keshet said.

“When you live right by campus, you are part of the campus community in a much more full way than when you live far away from campus,” Keshet said. “It’s about having a college experience in which you are there with your friends. You’re fully able to take advantage of the things that are going on at the University.”


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About the Contributor
Alex Luevano, Associate Photo Editor
Alex is a four year RTF major from San Antonio, TX. He is currently an Associate Photo Editor at the Texan.