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AUSTIN-The Austin City Council heard public comments on a proposed development agreement with Stratus Properties Inc., but adjourned at 3 a.m. before taking action.

Most speakers opposed the agreement to allow Stratus to develop a mixed-use project as part of the Circle C development in South Austin. The council was to have taken a first vote on a series of zoning ordinances and resolutions. It will, however, return July 11 to hear more comments.

The agreement would allow Austin-based Stratus to build 750,000 sf of office space, 250,000 sf of retail space, 830 single-family homes and 900 multifamily units on 1,235 acres. That is significantly less than what Stratus says it can build under ordinances in effect when the project was first proposed in the 1980s.

City officials say the agreement would protect the Edwards Aquifer and Barton Creek recharge zone. Many of the speakers who lined up at the Thursday council meeting disagreed. They said the development would damage water quality and harm Barton Springs and lead to further threaten the Barton Springs salamander, an endangered species that makes its home at Barton Springs. Some in favor of the agreement said it would allow the city to have more control over the development.

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