Leander City Council will host two public hearings Feb. 6 on proposals that, if approved, could eventually lead to the construction of a new shopping center and/or multi-family housing along the Toll 183A frontage road.
Council will host a public hearing—and has the option to vote on—an ordinance amending the city’s comprehensive plan that would change a 7.1-acre parcel from being divided between mixed-use corridor and neighborhood residential to exclusively an activity center, according to city documents.
The majority of the parcel, located on the west side of the Toll 183A frontage road and approximately 0.4 miles south of the intersection with RM 2243, is currently zoned mixed-use corridor. A smaller portion to the southwest is zoned single-family residential, according to city documents.
The parcel and most of the adjacent property are currently undeveloped, according to city documents. A portion of the property to the southwest borders Leander Crossing, an “established single-family subdivision,” and is the part that is zoned single-family residential, according to city documents.
Activity center zoning allows the construction of large shopping destinations that “provide a wide range of commercial uses including restaurants and a mixture of big box (i.e., Target, Best Buy) and junior retail anchors (i.e., Ulta, PetSmart),” according to an analysis by the city’s planning department. Activity center zoning also allows for "office; townhomes, apartments; institutional uses; civic uses, such as libraries or recreation facilities; parks and public spaces," according to the city.
A request for a comprehensive plan amendment on the parcel has been made before. It was presented to the planning and zoning commission March 23, 2017—but was denied by the commission, and the application was withdrawn before being heard by the council, according to city documents.
The other public hearing is on a request by Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc., which is representing Leander 30 LP in both cases, to amend the city’s zoning ordinance that would reconfigure the city’s zoning districts for the parcel.
The part of the parcel facing the Toll 183A frontage road is currently split between multifamily on the north side and general commercial on the south side. Kimley-Horn is requesting the part of the parcel facing the road become entirely general commercial, with the back, or western part, of the property switching to multifamily.
At its Jan. 9 meeting, Leander’s Planning and Zoning Commission recommended that council deny the current request.
While the city could vote on the comprehensive plan change Feb. 6, two public hearings are required to change the city's zoning ordinance before a vote could be made. The soonest council could vote on that item would be Feb. 20, according to the city.
While specific plans have not been released by either Kimley-Horn and Associates or Leander 30 LP, city spokesperson Mike Neu said he expects some details to be made public during the Feb. 6 discussions with council.