Commercial and residential zoning request at Hero Way West and Bagdad Road receives initial OK from Leander City Council

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Update April 20 at 4:10 p.m.

Leander City Council approved a first reading of the rezoning request Thursday evening. Council members approved the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendations, switched the use of general commercial to local commercial, restricted drive-thrus in the zoning and set the building setback at 30 feet. The item will come back before council again for a final reading and approval at a future date.

Original story posted April 16 at 2:45 p.m.

Land on Hero Way West currently zoned single-family urban could be rezoned to general commercial, local commercial and neighborhood residential, if approved by Leander City Council.

Neighborhood residential zoning could allow for small-scale attached or detached multifamily buildings, and is intended to be located close to intersections of major roadways, according to the city’s code of ordinances.

The around 15.6-acre property is located at 12245 Hero Way West partially inside a designated community center and mixed-use corridor, and is approximately 700 feet west of the intersection of Hero Way West and Bagdad Road, according to the documents. The rezoning could permit a mixed-use development with higher intensity commercial zoning along Hero Way West and lower intensity uses further south, according to meeting documents.

The rear eastern part of the property could be used for medical or professional offices, according to the documents.

Three individuals spoke about the item at a Leander Planning and Zoning Commission meeting April 12. One was neither for nor against it, while the others raised concerns about possible light pollution, lower property values, crime, loss of green space and lack of proper notice to neighbors.

“I’m concerned about more commercial developments going up next to homes with a light pollution concern,” Deanna Root said. “My biggest concern is […] I can’t imagine the traffic flow that you’re going to have there is going to be very safe.”

City Planning Manager Robin Griffin said everyone within 200 feet of the property were notified and that the city requires the applicant post a sign.

P&Z Vice Chair Jason Anderson said that the city of Leander has been criticized recently for not doing enough to attract commercial development, so he likes seeing projects like this come before the commission.

“We do need to shift our tax base away from residential; take the burden off residential,” he said. “This piece of property is a beautiful piece of property […] but it’s not a park, it’s somebody’s private property and now they want to develop it, and they have every right to do so.”

P&Z recommended approval of the request with the modification that the western portion of the proposed general commercial zoning be instead zoned local commercial without restrictions on operating hours. Leander City Council is set to consider the zoning at its meeting Thursday, April 19, according to city documents.

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Abby Bora
Abby Bora started at Community Impact Newspaper in May 2017. After working as a reporter, she became editor of the Cedar Park | Leander edition in October 2018. She covers Leander ISD and city government. Bora graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. with a bachelor’s degree in media and communications studies.
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