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State May Regulate Congress Ave. Development

April 2013

Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, has filed a bill that would give the Texas Legislature power to regulate development along Congress Avenue.

SB 1272 would prohibit construction 90 feet tall within 60 feet of the west side of Congress Avenue, and within 40 feet and 90 feet tall on the east side of the road.

The bill has been read and referred to the Texas Senate's Economic Development Committee. It would take effect immediately if it receives a two-thirds vote in each chamber. If passed by less than a two-thirds vote, the bill could take effect September 1.

The city of Austin's regulations currently impose a 90-foot limit for construction within 60 feet of Congress Avenue under the Congress Avenue Overlay. The City Council has allowed a handful of buildings — such as the Frost Bank Tower — to bypass the height and setback requirement.

Watson addressed many of the concerns developers have raised about his bill in a comment he posted on a blog.


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