The Austin City Council settled a brewing battle between developers and environmentalists on Thursday night, voting to repeal the city’s “grandfathering” rules and effectively allowing more dense development in some cases.
After more than a month of debate, the council sided with the city’s legal staff, which concluded that some of Austin’s environmental rules were on legally dubious ground and exposed the city to lawsuits. The clincher came from Casey Dobson, a private land-use attorney hired by the city to help the council sort through the various assessments coming from real-estate interests, environmental activists and the staff.
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