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Council advances fly tower for new Zach Scott facility

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 by Austin Monitor

The Austin City Council has approved on first reading a change to the city code that will clear the way for the construction of a new fly tower at the Zachary Scott Theatre (See In Fact Daily, June 12, 2008). The theatre’s Board of Directors is working with city staff and the Zilker Neighborhood Association to draft language for the change that will ensure it only applies to Zach Scott.


“In our neighborhood, we have taken the position that any additional height has to be tied to some community benefit,” said Jeff Jack. “And, of course, we look at Zack Scott as a community benefit.” But, Jack said, “there are four or five other sites adjacent to Zach Scott that we’re concerned with…that developers in the future will point to Zach Scott’s fly tower as a reason to ask for additional height for their sites.”


As part of an agreement worked out between the theatre and the neighborhood association, the theatre will oppose any future requests by neighboring property owners for height increases. That agreement also calls for the theatre to work to avoid using the surrounding neighborhood for parking as it expands. “It’s their intent to accommodate their parking within their existing lease line, or if it’s off site, that it would be in a zoning category where the base zoning requirements are respected,” said Jack.


The changes requested by the neighborhood association will also strictly limit what constitutes a public theatre. “It doesn’t apply to other city-owned land…or any other governmental entities such as AISD or Austin Community College,” Jack said. “The neighborhoods are concerned that there may be a piece of property owned by a public entity and that this ordinance could possibly apply to them.”


Since the agreement worked out between the theatre and the neighborhood is different than what was originally requested by the Council, the ordinance revision was passed on first reading only. The proposal will come back to the Council for final approval on July 24.

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