Senator Bryan Hughes (Tyler/Texarkana area) and Representative Cole Hefner (Sulphur Springs/Mount Pleasant area) filed companion bills that will change existing city zoning by removing building height restrictions in designated cities. SB 491 - HB 2198
What Does This Mean in Austin?
In the central part of the city, development styles are changing to more intense mixed-use development. However, in suburban areas, the zoning practices of low density commercial construction adjacent to residential uses serves as a buffer between major commercial and residential developments.
These bills would end the height limits and allow construction of taller buildings near single-family homes. The wording of the bill specifies that compatibility rules, such as those in Austin, which extend to 500 feet in residential areas, would change to within 50 feet of the proposed project.
With the growth in the Texas population, many cities, both large and small, struggle with new development styles that include more housing. Each city has its own blend of traditions and ways of proceeding into the future. It is only through cooperation that all the people can plan a way to move forward.
Regardless of our views on how development should proceed, it is important that the people affected have a voice. This state law will remove a community's ability to chart its own future.