C20-2024-009 Compatibility Buffer Revisions was approved by City Council on May 30, 2024. Check back soon for the adopted ordinance. 


On February 29, 2024, City Council approved Ordinance No. 20240229-073, which established minimum requirements for compatibility buffers. A compatibility buffer is required for certain commercial and multifamily properties that share a property line with a property with 1-3 homes. The buffer includes a screening zone with required vegetation and a restricted zone with certain allowed structures and physical elements. Revisions to the buffer requirements are proposed to support successful staff implementation and make certain requirements more flexible. 

Summary of Proposed Changes 

  • Allow alternative compliance for an existing site condition that prevents full compliance with buffer requirements 

  • Add a statement of purpose to support the alternative compliance process 

  • Allow all types of stormwater control measures in the compatibility buffer 

  • Modify planting requirements, including establishing separate screening requirements for buffers between 15 and 25 feet wide and for buffers between 10 feet and 15 feet wide

  • Incorporate Planning Commission recommendation to create a narrower buffer with modified planting requirements for narrow sites 

  • Allow certain building elements to project 2’ into the restricted zone 

  • Allow private common and private personal open spaces on the ground floor in the restricted zone 

  • Allow bike racks, benches, water fountains, and lighting associated with paths, walkways, or public use trails in the restricted zone

Review and Adoption Timeline 

May 30, 2024 – Approved by City Council   

Case Manager Contact 

Jonathan Lee, Planning Department, Jonathan.Lee@austintexas.gov