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TipSheet: Planning Commission, 2.24

Monday, February 23, 2015 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.

Here are the things that got our attention this week:

1. Briefing: Request: Update from City Legal on their interpretation of the code section regarding the Planning Commission’s scope of responsibility on Land Development Code Sections 25-4-151 (Connectivity) and 25-4-153 (Block Length).

Monitor’s Take: During the epic battle over Lightsey II, a piece of the code was referenced that many people — including Planning Commissioners — did not know about. Basically, it appeared that commissioners may have more discretion than they previously thought in regards to subdivision approval and connectivity. This item promises to clear it all up, and we look forward to the discussion. We wrote a little about it here, after it was postponed at the previous meeting.

8. Rezoning: C14-2014-0111 — 4500 Speedway Location: 4500 Speedway, Waller Creek Watershed, North Hyde Park NCCD, Hyde Park Neighborhood Plan Owner/Applicant: Navid Hoomanrad Agent: Husch Blackwell, LLP (Alexandra Jashinsky) Request: SF-3-NCCD-NP to NO-NCCD-NP

Monitor’s Take: The case that launched 1,000 acronyms is back, and after a strong suggestion from the previous City Council, developers have modified their request to what staff had recommended previously. It remains to be seen whether that will sit better with neighbors concerned that the original request was attempting an end-run around process safeguards, which we wrote about here.

19. 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: Approval for a variance from the Waterfront Overlay, Section 25-2-721(B)(1), which prohibits parking areas and structures within the primary setback.

Monitor’s Take: At their last meeting, Planning Commissioners voted to reconsider the Red Bluff Hotel developers’ request for a variance. Today, they will do the reconsidering, and decide whether to grant a variance they denied in January, after all.

20. Right of way Encroachment: F#9445-1411 Request: Aerial Encroachment of Bowie Street by a pedestrian bridge between West 5th Street and West 6th Street. Staff Rec.: Recommended

Monitor’s Take: As we have documented in the past, some people really hate skybridges. We expect this proposal, which would provide emergency access in the case of a flood, will be less controversial than the medical school’s proposal. But you never know.

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