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!