CITY COUN­CIL DI­VIDED ON AF­FORD­ABIL­ITY AC­TION PLAN

Ini­tia­tive lands with thud among half of mem­bers; vote set for Thurs­day.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By El­iz­a­beth Fin­dell efind­ell@states­man.com Af­ford­abil­ity

An af­ford­abil­ity ac­tion plan cham­pi­oned by Austin City Coun­cil Mem­ber Ellen Trox­clair and four of her col­leagues, in­clud­ing the mayor, landed with a thud be­fore the other half of the City Coun­cil on Tues­day.

“This is filled with things we are ei­ther al­ready do­ing, can’t be done, or shouldn’t be done,” Coun­cil Mem­ber Delia Garza said.

The ac­tion plan orig­i­nated with a push from the Greater Austin Cham­ber of Com­merce and a coali­tion of busi­ness and non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions, and pulled in el­e­ments from drafts of other city plan­ning ini­tia­tives. It cre­ates an af­ford­abil­ity man­i­festo that in­cludes rec­om­men­da­tions to ag­gres­sively build more hous­ing, con­sider a bud­get op­tion keep­ing prop­erty taxes flat and ap­prove an al­ready-started re­form of the city’s per­mit­ting process, eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment pol­icy and land de­vel­op­ment code.

Coun­cil mem­bers are set to vote on it Thurs­day.

Tues­day’s ini­tial dis­cus­sion made it clear that get­ting the plan through the coun­cil will be tight. Trox­clair, Mayor Steve Adler and Coun­cil Mem­bers Ora Hous­ton, Jimmy Flan­ni­gan and Ann Kitchen are all co-spon­sors of the item. Five other coun­cil mem­bers — Garza, Les­lie Pool, Kathie Tovo, Greg Casar and Sabino “Pio” Ren­te­ria — all voiced op­po­si­tion.

That leaves Coun­cil Mem­ber Ali­son Al­ter, who re­mained un­com­mit­ted, a pos­si­ble swing vote.

Trox­clair said the doc­u­ment is not meant to set re­quire­ments in stone, but to cre­ate a road

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