No Development Permit Extensions Says Austin City Council

According to the ABJ, Austin City Council has voted against one-time development permit extensions which would extend the time frame real estate developers had to commence with their project from three to five years.  Sponsored by the newest Council Members on the dais, Randi Shade and Laura Morrison were not around in 2006-2007 to vote on urban infill projects.

Development permits will likely expire before any rebound in the capital markets.  If the land where the development was to occur has already been razed (Marriott), then the outcome of this ruling is most likely blight – empty lots, not generating property taxes, and often surrounded by chain link fence.

A far better solution would have been to levy fines or taxes on undeveloped land.   Because, you know, that could have generated money for the city!

Link to agenda item

About Jude Galligan

Jude Galligan, REALTOR, Principal of TOWERS Realty and publisher of Downtown Austin Blog (aka. "DAB"), spends his time matching remarkable people with remarkable properties in Austin’s urban core. A resident owner in downtown Austin, Jude has served on the Board of the Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA) and the City of Austin Downtown Commission. Contact Jude.


  1. My point is that the city council could have been more progressive and perhaps less politically motivated. This decision does nothing to curb the social costs of unproductive land inside the urban core. Considering a mechanism to discourage blight and to increase tax revenue would have been better for the entire city.

  2. Kedron Touvell says

    There is already a mechanism for a developer to extend a site plan through the B&C process. Barring that, the developer can file a new site plan. A large project such as the Marriott (or pretty much any downtown project) isn’t going to be delayed canceled by the comparatively miniscule cost of renewing or refiling a site plan.

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