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Council OKs 85-foot height for Plaza Saltillo area lot

Friday, March 11, 2022 by Jo Clifton

City Council gave first reading approval last week for a request to rezone a property at 1400 E. Fourth St., within the Plaza Saltillo transit-oriented development plan for the area. The applicant requested to increase the allowed height of a proposed office building on the site from 40 to 85 feet. City staff and the Planning Commission both recommended the change. Texas Coffee Traders is the current occupant of the approximately 1-acre property.

Developers are proposing a six-story office building with a ground floor restaurant and below-grade parking.

At the request of Council Member Pio Renteria, whose district includes the property, the item will return on Council’s March 24 agenda. Several area residents complained about the proposed height, and Renteria urged the developer to meet with neighborhood leaders to see if they could reach an agreement.

Although property owners Robert C. Beall and Beth A. Beall are not proposing to place any residential units on the property, they will pay a fee in lieu of residential units. According to a staff report, “To the north of the property is an apartment building. Directly northeast is the Plaza Saltillo Station and across Onion Street to the east is an event space and production studio. To the south across E. 4th Street is a vacant lot, a single-family home and an apartment complex. The existing land use on the future land use map is Specific Regulating District. There is no proposed change to the future land use map.”

Kristen Heaney, a member of the East Cesar Chavez Neighborhood Plan contact team, told Council the requested height was too great and should be cut back to no more than 60 feet. Several other area residents agreed with her. Robin Stallings, a neighbor who is the executive director of Bike Texas, told Council he was pleased about the opportunities the project would provide to connect to an area hike-and-bike trail.

Photo courtesy of Google Maps.

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