Barbecue joints in Austin to face new restrictions

A new city ordinance may be created to restrict grilling methods for barbecue restaurants close to residential areas.

Restaurants and mobile food vendors that use a wood- or charcoal-burning stove or grill would be required to install exhaust systems known as "smoke scrubbers" or other devices that mitigate smoke emissions if the business is located within 150 feet of a residential area, according to a proposed resolution sponsored by District 3 Councilman Sabino "Pio" Renteria.

The resolution will be considered during the March 26 Austin City Council meeting. The request asks the city manager to craft ordinance language for City Council to consider no later than May 21.

The move comes after neighborhood residents near Terry Black's Barbecue on Barton Springs Road and La Barbecue on East Cesar Chavez reached out to Renteria and other council members with complaints about smoke from the restaurants coming into their homes, Renteria said through a member of his staff. 

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