One of Austin’s longest-running property rights disputes came to a close Thursday night, with the City Council approving a deal that will allow the heirs of Eli Garza to build a condos-and-shops development on the last virgin piece of the family’s South Austin ranch.
The council voted 6-1 to give the Garza family permission for somewhat more extensive development than would normally be allowed under the Save Our Springs environmental rules, which are intended to limit development for the sake of protecting the sensitive aquifer beneath a wide swath of South and Southwest Austin. Council members cited various reasons for voting in favor of the deal, from the improved environmental protections they say the compromise will ultimately yield to the threat of intervention by the more property-rights friendly state Legislature.
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What we reported
The American-Statesman first reported more than two decades ago about the Garza family’s fight with the city of Austin over developing land the family owns in South Austin. The newspaper has chronicled the twists and turns of the battle in subsequent years.