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Deal struck in long-running battle over Exposition Boulevard project

Thursday, May 1, 2014 by Elizabeth Pagano

The warring parties over the proposed development at 3215 Exposition Boulevard unexpectedly struck a deal on Wednesday with the assistance of Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole. City Council is now expected to pass the zoning on consent today, after years of dispute with developers and the neighborhood and hundreds of emails from those for and against the development.


The land, which was once part of the Austin State School, is currently undeveloped and has no zoning classification (See Austin Monitor, April 18.) That’s set to change after a productive, hours-long meeting between neighborhood representatives Vivian Wilson and Dealey Herndon, city staff, and developers’ representatives Husch Blackwell attorney Jerry Harris and consultant Alice Glasco.


Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, who set up the negotiations, spoke to the Austin Monitor about the outcome Wednesday.


“I’m happy to have had the opportunity to work closely with the neighborhood and the development team to craft a solution that is in the best interest of this city and which both groups have committed to support at the Council meeting. This was a long-standing issue that has gone unresolved for too long and I’m pleased that we could sensibly accommodate the city’s growth and also respect the sensitive ecosystem of our historic neighborhoods,” said Cole.


The compromise is similar to what staff was recommending, with a few significant changes. The project, which will be for those 55 years and older, is now limited to 27 units in all (changed from 20) and capped at 12.37 units per acre, not 9.17 units. Development will also be allowed 65 feet from the property line, not 75 feet and include a larger 35-foot vegetative buffer.

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