Austin Denies Mixed-Use Zoning Change

Following concerns that the change would threaten Thornton Road Studios, a collection of arts and music businesses, the Austin City Council struck down a measure that would allow mixed-use development on the site.
March 17, 2016, 6am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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A mixed-use development proposal for the site of Thornton Road Studios in Austin was too controversial to pass. The Austin City Council struck down a zoning change that faced opposition not only from local residents, but also from artists and musicians concerned about being priced out of their city. 

Elizabeth Pagano writes, "Given the almost unanimous support for the music and cultural omnibus that had passed earlier in the day, along with ongoing concerns that Austin is becoming unaffordable for the city's creative class, Council's vote to deny the zoning that would allow for a mixed-use residential project was hardly a surprise."

The developer intended to build a "wedding cake" style project, tapering up from its base to assuage those concerned about the building's scale. But that did little to convince business owners at Thornton Road Studios. 

James Mays, director of the Band Aid School of Music, said, "'If you've ever attended a film festival, South by Southwest, ACL fest, an arts festival like the WEST tour, walked down Sixth Street or visited City Hall, you've been affected by the work of the businesses on Thornton Road that will be displaced by the proposed zoning change.'"

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Published on Monday, March 7, 2016 in Austin Monitor
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