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Tip Sheet: Planning Commission 12/9

Monday, December 8, 2014 by Elizabeth Pagano

The City of Austin Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

In the interest of saving space, we will not publish the entire agenda here. It is available on the City’s website.

1. Code Amendment: C20-2014-024 – Congress Avenue Combining District Owner/Applicant: City of Austin Agent: Planning and Development Review Department Request: Consider an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 relating to Congress Avenue Combining District. Staff Rec.: Recommended.

Monitor’s Take: This item would work to change Congress Avenue’s setback. We wrote about the amendment, and its relationship to plans for a hotel, here.

2.Rezoning: C14-2014-0011A – Garza Ranch Location: 3800 Ben Garza Lane, Williamson Creek Watershed-Barton Springs Zone, Oak Hill Combined (East Oak Hill) NPA Owner/Applicant: Rancho Garza, Ltd. (Ron White) Agent: Cunningham Allen, Inc. (Jana Rice) Request: GR-MU-CO-NP to GR-MU-CO-NP, to change a condition of zoning Staff Rec.: Recommended, with conditions

3. Rezoning: C14-2014-0011B – Garza Ranch Location: 3510 and 4003 Ben Garza Lane, Williamson Creek Watershed-Barton Springs Zone, Oak Hill Combined (East Oak Hill) NPA Owner/Applicant: Rancho Garza, Ltd. (Ron White) Agent: Cunningham Allen, Inc. (Jana Rice) Request: GR-MU-CO-NP to GR-MU-CO-NP, to change a condition of zoning Staff Rec.: Recommended, with conditions

Monitor’s Take:Austin has been fighting over this land for more than 20 years, and there is no reason to expect these cases to be much different. The Planning Commission postponed these cases at their last meeting after a request from Save Our Springs executive director Bill Bunch. Though his standing was questioned by Commissioner Brian Roark, the postponement was granted so that Bunch could have the time to understand a change that would allow 16,000 vehicle trips per day instead of 6,000.

4. Rezoning: C14H-2014-0014 – Bluebonnet Hills Historic District Location: Roughly bounded by East Side Drive on the east, Annie Street on the north, Leland Street on the south, and Brackenridge Street on the west, Blunn Creek Watershed, South River City NPA Owner/Applicant: Bluebonnet Hills Historic District Committee, Michele Webre and Emily Reed Request: SF-3-NP and SF-3-H-NP to SF-3-HD-NP and SF-3-H-HD-NP Staff Rec.: Recommended Staff: Steve Sadowsky, 512-974-6454, steve.sadowsky@austintexas.gov; Planning and Development Review Department

Monitor’s Take:This historic district, which is a neighborhood within the larger Travis Heights neighborhood, has a lot of support. But historic districts always have detractors, and this proposal is no different. We wrote about it when it was at the Historic Landmark Commission, where it received unanimous support.

5. Preliminary: C8-2014-0233 – Lightsey 2 Location: 1805 Lightsey Road, West Bouldin Creek Watershed, South Lamar NPA Owner/Applicant: Lightsey Two, LLC (Ryan Diepenbrock) Agent: PSW Homes (Casey Giles) Request: Approval of Lightsey 2 composed of 16 lots on 4.00 acres Staff Rec.: Disapproval Staff: Planning and Development Review Department

6. Final Plat with Preliminary: C8-2014-0233.1A – Lightsey 2 Location: 1805 Lightsey Road, West Bouldin Creek Watershed, South Lamar NPA Owner/Applicant: Lightsey Two, LLC (Ryan Diepenbrock) Agent: PSW Homes (Casey Giles) Request: Approval of Lightsey 2 composed of 16 lots on 4.02 acres Staff Rec.: Disapproval Staff: Planning and Development Review Department

7. New Business: Request: Discussion and possible action to rescind action taken on October 28, 2014 regarding case # C8-2013-0118 Lightsey 2, located at 1805 Lightsey Road.

Monitor’s Take: We’ve written about this case here here here and here. Though we’d thought we had seen the last of it, the Planning Commission has opted to put it back on the agenda for possible reconsideration at their last meeting. In order to play it safe, developers have taken the novel step of re-submitting an identical preliminary plan, which is also on today’s agenda. Because the neighborhood’s complaints — at least the convincing ones — involved procedural missteps, the resubmittal could allow the developers to go through the process again with a clean slate.

8. Site Plan -Variance: SPC-2014-0175A – Red Bluff Hotel Location: 4701 Red Bluff Road, Lady Bird Lake Watershed, Govalle/Johnston Terrace Combined NPA Owner/Applicant: Red Bluff Partners, LLC (Jordan Ford) Agent: Big Red Dog Engineering (Ricardo de Camps) Request: To approve three (3) variances from the Waterfront Overlay: 1) Section 25-2-721(B)(1), which prohibits parking areas and structures within the primary setback; 2) Section 25-2-721(C)(1), which permits only “fountains, patios, terraces, outdoor restaurants and similar uses” within the secondary setback; and 30 Section 25-2-721(C)(2), which limits the impervious cover in the secondary setback to a maximum of 30 percent. Staff Rec.: Recommended Staff: Michael Simmons-Smith, 512-974-1225, michael.simmonssmith@austintexas.gov; Planning and Development Review Department

Monitor’s Take: While we haven’t discussed this case per se, we thought it might be worth noting that there is yet another hotel in Austin’s future. This one is a 50,000 square foot hotel located on the site of the short-lived East Side Tubes tube and kayak rental that was shut down by the city.

9. Site Plan -Variance: SP-2013-0295DS – 2908 Scenic Drive (Tram) Location: 2908 Scenic Drive, Lake Austin Watershed, West Austin Neighborhood Group NPA Owner/Applicant: William & Kathy Darling Agent: Moncada Consulting (Phil Moncada) Request: To modifiy the standard 150-foot width Critical Environmental Feature buffer in order to allow removal of existing stairs and construction of a tram within a corridor 10 feet wide and 55 feet long that spans a canyon rimrock, Section 25-8-281(C)(1)(a). Staff Rec.: Recommended with conditions Staff: Liz Johnston, 512-974-1218, liz.johnston@austintexas.gov; Michael Simmons-Smith, 512-974-1225, Michael.SimmonsSmith@AustinTexas.gov; Planning and Development Review Department

Monitor’s Take:Since the clarification of the city’s position on Lake Austin trams, there has been a lot of tram talk at our boards and commissions. Here is some more, in a case that we wrote about here.

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