Last week, a Travis County court greenlit a lawsuit from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against members of Austin’s Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission is the entity that makes critical decisions on land use in the City of Austin.

Paxton’s lawsuit stems from rules in the City Charter that prevent more than one-third of the Commission from being directly or indirectly connected to real estate or land development. According to Paxton, eight people with ties to those industries are currently on the commission.

“It’s shameful that the city of Austin ignores the will of voters and its own city charter, allowing the planning commission to be controlled by eight real estate professionals who unlawfully hold seats on the board,” Paxton said in a statement released on July 3.

This lawsuit arrives on the coattails of an attempted overhaul of Austin’s land use regulations called CodeNext. Though the changes are currently in bureaucratic limbo, the commission played a large role in crafting its bylaws, which attempt to re-jigger the balance between developers’ and homeowners’ rights.

Paxton has repeatedly sued Austin for violating state law and Texans’ rights. This lawsuit is the latest example of his efforts to prevent Austin’s flagrant violation of the voters’ will.

Saurabh Sharma

Saurabh Sharma served as a Capitol Correspondent for Texas Scorecard. He was a Biochemistry and Government student at the University of Texas at Austin. He was also the State Chairman of Young Conservatives of Texas. In his free time, you can find him writing with fountain pens, learning graphic design, experimenting with unique nutrition regimens, and studying men’s fashion.


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