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Bastrop Extends Its Moratorium On Development For 6 More Months

The Bastrop City Council voted last night to extend a moratorium on development through May 21, 2019. City leaders voted to put a 90-day pause on new development in August, with some exceptions. Last night’s vote means the development moratorium could span at least eight months in total.

The city has been using new data and updated floodplain maps to tweak Bastrop’s land-development rules with the goal of reducing or preventing flooding, an effort it’s calling Building Bastrop.

In a statement, Bastrop Mayor Connie Schroeder said the city has made “significant progress” toward laying the groundwork for updating its land-use regulations. The city has hired the Austin-based firm SimpleCity Design to analyze its current code and patterns of development in downtown.

“We want to get this right,” Schroeder said. “The extension provides the additional time needed as we move through the next steps of the Building Bastrop initiative.”

Schroeder has previously acknowledged that the moratorium could be extended if the city needed more time to update regulations. As the region continues to grow, much of the conversation around development has focused on flooding concerns. Bastrop has seen four disaster declarations from the Federal Emergency in the past three years, some of which were related to flooding.

Development in Bastrop has not stopped altogether. The city has offered exceptions and issued hundreds of new permits since the moratorium was enacted, and projects that were already underway have been able to continue.

City leaders will host two events in the coming weeks in downtown Bastrop to get public feedback on how they’d like to see the rules updated.

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Syeda Hasan is the Elections Editor and Reporter at KERA. Before moving into that role, she covered mental health at the station. A Houston native, her journalism career has taken her to public radio newsrooms around Texas.