Wednesday, August 12, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Council likely to postpone “Grove” zoning decision

A quorum of City Council members sent a clear message at a Tuesday work session that they plan to postpone a zoning decision set for Thursday related to the Grove at Shoal Creek.

“Frankly, I don’t know enough about this tract at this point to set a baseline zoning, so I would anticipate on Thursday that I would be asking the Council to postpone this item,” said Mayor Steve Adler after Council returned from an executive session discussion on the issue.

Those who made similar statements or implied that they supported the postponement include Council members Greg Casar, Ora Houston, Leslie Pool, Sheri Gallo and Ann Kitchen.

Council members Ellen Troxclair, Pio Renteria and Don Zimmerman were also in attendance and did not voice dissent.

The proposed Planned Unit Development would be built on a vacant, 75-acre lot in Central Austin near the intersection of 45th Street and Bull Creek Road. It is the same lot that the city considered purchasing in October from its previous owner, the Texas Department of Transportation.

According to the developer, MileStone Community Builders, the development could include as many as 1,515 residential units – both single-family and multifamily – along with office and commercial space and at least 17 acres of public parkland.

The decision that Council is scheduled to make on Thursday involves setting baseline site development standards and working out details related to the affordable housing units that the developer has proposed setting aside.

Since a PUD is a type of development that is supposed to exceed city Land Development Code requirements in exchange for certain variances from the code, the city must set criteria by which to determine if a development fulfills its end of the deal.

Adler went on to explain why he felt it was important to announce that he hopes to postpone the item. “I think that if there’s a sense that we are going to set a baseline zoning, we’re going to have several hundred people show up, and if we’re not going to do it, we’re going to postpone it, I don’t want people to show up,” he said.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Austin City Council: The Austin City Council is the body with legislative purview over the City of Austin. It offers policy direction, while the office of the City Manager implements administrative actions based on those policies. Until 2012, the body contained seven members, including the city's Mayor, all elected at-large. In 2012, City of Austin residents voted to change that system and now 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts. The Mayor continues to be elected at-large.

Planned Unit Development: A zoning classification designated by the city to allow greater flexibility for projects within its boundaries.

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