What is a Project Assessment in Austin?


A Project Assessment in Austin is a preliminary analysis by City staff of the applicable general procedures and requirements of the Land Development Code relative to the subdivision requirements as it relates to an individual project. It is a tool that may be used to provide an assessment of a project highlighting potential code and criteria deficiencies.

Who Needs a Project Assessment?

A Project Assessment is required before submitting a formal subdivision application if it includes any variances, waivers, or discretionary approvals. The following items require a Project Assessment before the formal submittal of a plan/plat application:

  • Variances
  • Waivers
  • Discretionary approvals
  • Minor plats with associated variances
  • Plats that are not administratively approvable

A Project Assessment will evaluate potential major issues for the project, provide a recommendation on any discretionary approvals, and answer any questions from the applicant. The fee for a Project Assessment is currently $1,500.

A Project Assessment can be a valuable tool for developers who are considering a project in Austin. It can help to identify potential problems early in the planning process and to avoid costly delays later on.

Project Assessment Benefits

Here are some of the benefits of a Project Assessment for oz developers focused on the Austin, TX market:

  • It can help to identify potential code and criteria deficiencies early in the planning process.
  • It can provide a recommendation on any discretionary approvals that may be required.
  • It can answer any questions from the applicant about the subdivision process.
  • It can help to avoid costly delays later on.

If you are considering a project in Austin, it is recommended that you contact the Development Services Department to discuss the possibility of a Project Assessment.

Project Assessment Timeline

The real challenge if you’re a real estate developer seeking a project assessment is time. Due to a backlog of projects at the city of Austin, and the city’s inability to decide on a coherent strategy for improving housing availability, project assessments are currently taking as long as 8 to 10 months. Given the high cost of debt financing in 2023, this makes conducting a project assessment incredibly expensive for developers. 

Alternatives to Project Assessment

One of the best alternatives to doing a project assessment is to fully understand and utilize the city of Austin’s infill development tools. Since project assessments can take so long to complete, using the infill tools can provide a shorter time to shovels in the ground which makes a huge difference for developers designing high-quality OZ projects

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