Austin delays decision on controversial developer fee again

Opponents call it extra burden, threat to city’s growth

Austin Mayor Steve Adler (Getty)
Austin Mayor Steve Adler (Getty)

A final decision on Austin’s controversial developer’s fee has been postponed again.

The proposed fee would expand Title 25-1 of the city code and would require parkland

The council is now set to consider the issue during its September 1 meeting, according to the Austin Business Journal.


Mayor Steve Adler said the City Council will discuss both the proposed parkland dedication fee and the hotly debated additions to the existing residential fee.

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“We want to be deliberate on the parkland dedication fees both in commercial and residential,” Adler said.

Following an hours-long review of the proposed commercial fee earlier this month, the members of Austin’s Planning Commission approved the amended version of the proposed fee structure in an 8-2 vote. Opponents of the fee argued that the parkland requirement would impose an excessive burden on developers that could have severe consequences for the city’s future growth. Proponents said such fees are essential in helping Austin maintain a high quality of life during a time of rapid and sustained growth.

Mayor Adler says he expects the council to at least put forward amendments that would circumvent the need for developers to borrow additional funds to pay the fee early in the planning process.

“My expectation is that Council will adopt a commercial parkland fee and at the same time renew a residential parkland dedication fee,” Adler said. “I expect there will be special attention on how these fees impact housing affordability.”

— Maddy Sperling