The study, which was commissioned by the city’s business development body known as the Rollingwood Community Development Corp. and cost $25,000, plus a stipend for reimbursable expenses not to exceed $1,000, examined the current zoning of each property along Bee Caves Road from MoPac to Rollingwood Drive, and representatives issued several recommendations based on their findings.
The Retail Coach representative Aaron Farmer could not attend the Nov. 20 City Council meeting at which the discussion on the report was to take place, so council postponed the agenda item for a future meeting. Still, Mayor Michael Dyson said, the report is going to open many options for the city of Rollingwood with regard to the many facets of its business community.
“The report is exceptionally robust ... with the idea being to get a better understanding of the folks doing business in our community,” Dyson said. “There is a ton of information I look forward to discussing in the near future. More importantly, there is a lot of actionable information in here.”
Properties examined include vacant lots, banks, gas stations, churches and retail shops. The study employed a set of metrics to determine if each property was achieving its highest and best use based on its zoning. Of the 35 properties, only three were listed as already achieving their best use.
Comments accompanying the evaluations further clarify the assessments. For example, the study states the Park Hills Baptist Church is at the gateway to Rollingwood, and due to its size it has the potential to be a mixed-use development.
The study further recommends several zoning changes throughout the corridor, including the removal of “Hospital District” from the city’s zoning options.
“With a lack of developable property within Rollingwood, this zoning option is not applicable,” the study states. “In case the properties currently zoned Hospital District ever sell, it is our recommendation that these sites be rezoned to another option as soon as possible.”
Due to a lack of zoning consistency along Bee Caves Road, the study also recommends adding a mixed-use option.
City officials should also focus on multilevel developments along Bee Caves Road moving forward, the study states, adding it would also be wise to pay attention to properties that go up for sale or have a recent change of ownership, as that can have a big effect on the city.