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Council removes covenant but postpones Lake Austin zoning case

Friday, June 13, 2014 by Elizabeth Pagano

Council members dispensed with at least one aspect of the 2208 Lake Austin Boulevard zoning case Thursday. While members postponed the main zoning case indefinitely, Council unanimously voted to remove a restrictive covenant on the property.


Alice Glasco, representing the property owners, asked for the postponement in order to talk to the neighborhood, in light of a valid petition against the change. However, Glasco asked that City Council lift the restrictive covenant, which limits the property to “professional use only.”


Glasco explained that all of the other properties on Lake Austin Boulevard had no such restriction. She asked that Council approve the termination of that covenant in case the owners chose not to pursue the other zoning cases after talking to the neighborhood. They are currently asking that the city change the zoning from Neighborhood Commercial to Neighborhood Mixed Use and from Limited Office to Limited Office Mixed Use.


Glasco also said that the covenant could conflict with the Fair Housing Act, in that it prohibited several protected classes of land use. Planning and Development Review Department Director Greg Guernsey did acknowledge that the case was unique, and that code typically allowed family and group homes. West Austin Neighborhood Group’s Blake Tollet said that the neighborhood would prefer that City Council look at the case “holistically,” and address all three cases at once.


Tollet said that, though they had a month between the Planning Commission and Council meetings, the neighborhood had not heard from the property owners. Council Member Laura Morrison said that, while she would prefer to hear all three cases at once, it was her hope that terminating the restrictive covenant would allow an accessory residential use that would “make the other zoning cases go away all together.”

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