About the Author
Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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Delta Kappa Gamma wins downtown zoning
Monday, May 24, 2021 by Jo Clifton
City Council gave final approval Thursday to Downtown Mixed Use zoning for the Delta Kappa Gamma property at 416 W. 12th St. Council Member Kathie Tovo was recused, but all the remaining members of Council approved the zoning on consent. Stratus Properties plans to build a 375-foot residential tower on the site. At one point there was a valid petition opposing the zoning change, but attorney Michael Whellan was able to persuade several neighbors to withdraw their names from the petition, making it invalid. Council may have been persuaded to vote for the increased density because part of the site was already zoned DMU with no height limit. But perhaps the strongest argument for the new zoning was that it would make the entire site eligible for the Downtown Density Bonus program. As a result, Stratus will pay $500,000 to the city for permanent supportive housing and Whellan promised the developer would pay an additional $200,000 to help with the city’s most pressing problem, homelessness. Although a local media report erroneously listed Council Member Leslie Pool as voting against the zoning change on first reading, that was not the case. In fact, as she pointed out to the Austin Monitor, “I actually saved it by making the motion for first reading.”
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