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ZAP decides more warehouses, fewer services for rural Austin

Monday, January 9, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

More warehouses can be built on the outskirts of Austin as a result of a Zoning and Platting Commission decision at its Jan. 3 meeting. The commissioners approved applicant Peter Pham Phuong’s request to rezone 3119 East Howard Lane from rural residential to limited industrial. “Warehouse Limited Office zoning is meant to be a transitional category,” said city case manager Sherri Sirwaitis at the meeting, “from a less intensive use to a more commercial use.” A couple of commissioners were disappointed at the staff’s recommendation. “I’d rather see limited office,” Commissioner Betsy Greenberg said. “This is an area that needs services, not warehouses.” Commissioner Jolene Kiolbassa concurred. “There are many more useful services for that area, things that could make it bike-friendly and pedestrian-friendly, but warehouses is not one of them,” she said. Commissioner Bruce Evans made the motion to approve the application, and Commissioner Susan Harris seconded. The motion passed 6-3, with Greenberg, Kiolbassa and Commissioner Ann Denkler dissenting. Commission Chair Thomas Weber and Commissioner Sunil Lavani were absent.

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