On June 16, 2016, the South Central Waterfront Vision Framework Plan (Vision Plan) was adopted as an amendment to the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan. As defined in the Vision Plan, the South Central Waterfront district encompasses roughly 118 acres.
The intent of the Vision Plan was to leverage forecasted development through a districtwide approach that creates a dynamic people-centered district in Central Austin by:

- Establishing a lively, attractive pedestrian environment;
- Expanding open space and creating great public places;
- Enhancing connections to and along the waterfront; and
- Providing 20% new affordable housing units, or approximately 527 affordable units in the district.

A districtwide approach had been identified as an essential method in realizing the intent of the Vision Plan. Through this approach, the South Central Waterfront is hoped to become a model for how a districtwide green infrastructure system, paired with quality urban design, can provide an interconnected network of public spaces – streets, streetscapes, lakeside trails, and parks – that provides the framework for redevelopment and districtwide value capture to fund other community benefits, such as affordable housing.
The urban development envisioned in the Vision Plan requires modifications to the existing zoning and development regulations. To support the development envisioned in the Vision Plan, the City Council passed Resolution Number 20220915-090 on September 15, 2022, to initiate the development of regulations for the South Central Waterfront area. In the resolution, Council asked staff to create regulations that consider today’s market realities, anticipate future demand, and realize the intent of the Vision Plan to:

  • Create a density bonus program “akin” to the Downtown Density Bonus Program;
  • Allow building height, floor-to-area ratio (FAR), and entitlements that support the economics required to achieve infrastructure and community benefits;
  • Allow additional entitlements exclusively through density bonus;
  • Conduct regulation updates, at a minimum, every five years;
  • Ensure development entitlements are sufficient to sustain and address increasing market demands and the rising inflation of labor and materials;
  • Maximize the number of affordable units;
  • Maximize infrastructure investments;
  • Maximize other on-site community benefits;
  • Ensure enhanced environmental standards and protection;
  • Support Project Connect; and
  • Create a connected, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use district where thousands more Austinites can live, work, and play.


Summary of Proposed Amendment

See South Central Waterfront project page: 


Review and Adoption Timeline

  • April 9 - Recommended with changes by the Planning Commission 
  • July 18 - To be considered by City Council

Case Manager Contact

April Geruso, Planning Department,

Question title

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