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ZAP OKs Sun Chase subdivision in southeastern ETJ

Monday, August 24, 2009 by Austin Monitor

The Zoning and Platting Commission unanimously approved a 788-lot subdivision in Southeastern Travis County last week. The 457-acre subdivision is located along Pearce Lane, west of Wolf Lane in the city’s five-mile Extra Territorial Jurisdiction and is composed primarily of single-family residential units. The subdivision will also eventually include a public school and commercial lot. Tuesday night’s action covered only Phase One of the development, which ultimately will grow even larger. Staff had recommended it.


City staffer Jose Luis Arriaga presented the item to the board, telling them that the phase had already received several standard waivers and a variance allowing them to avoid a requirement that subdivision streets align with existing roadways.


An area of concern for Betty Baker, chair of the ZAP, was the number of small lots in the proposed subdivision. There was some initial confusion over how many would fit this bill. Under the city’s definition of 3600 square feet or less, there are only 53 such lots. Baker pointed out that the number of cul-de-sacs, between 26 and 29, is “a record.”


Commissioner Gregory Bourgeois wondered who would extend the main thoroughfare through the subdivision, Sun Chase Parkway. The plans indicated it would be extended at a later date by “others.” It turned out that the applicant, a Canadian company named Qualico, had no plans to extend that. “Development pressures would dictate the timeline. If the market was to come back in high demand, they would obviously be required to connect,” he said. Sun Chase Parkway is the only access point to the development. Bourgeois pointed out that there were several block length waivers included, which Arriaga said was due to the flood plain.


The subdivision does not have any SMART housing grants or federal subsidies. Vera Massaro, regional development manager with Qualico, told the board 43 percent of the subdivision was  “either greenbelt, floodplain or parks.”

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